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Student Wins Essay Contest

10/8/2012, 9:32 p.m.

District Student Wins CBC Essay Contest

Sixteen-year-old Maya Wesby won the 2012 Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Essay Contest for her composition Defeating the Barriers of Physical Activity on Childhood Obesity. The Duke Ellington junior theater major was selected from a competitive field of more than two hundred submissions from across the country. This year's theme focused on helping America's youth move toward a healthier tomorrow.

An annual competition conducted by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses, the CBC Essay Contest & Issues Forum is designed to encourage youth to share their opinion on important issues affecting society.

"We were delighted by the eloquence and passion that the students expressed on this important topic," said CBC Spouses Chair Mereda Davis Johnson. "You make us proud to know that the future is bright."

Maya's essay is in keeping with first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, which is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity. In thinking through solutions to this problem, Maya posed several ideas to the CBC Issues Forum for consideration including: eliminating socioeconomic barriers to access fitness facilities, reducing fees for sports camps, investing in parks and recreation centers, and establishing physical exercise as a habit during teen years.

"I was particularly impressed with Maya's fresh ideas, expressed in her carefully researched and well-written essay on childhood obesity," said D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. "Maya is already showing she is fully ready to think through tough issues and even advise members of Congress on ways to grapple with them."

Maya, an honor student at Duke Ellington School of the Arts and a native Washingtonian, lives with her parents in the District of Columbia.