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Kaplan Test Prep Announces The Winners Of Its 2nd Annual “Stanley’s Story, Your Story” Essay Contest, A Nationwide Search For High School Students’ Stories Of Inspiration

Kaplan Test Prep is pleased to announce the winners of its second annual “Stanley’s Story, Your Story” essay contest, a national competition held to honor Stanley Kaplan, the inspiring educational visionary, and help aspiring college students pay for their education. The essay contest, which asked high school students to write in 100 words or less who inspired them most and why, drew over 3,100 entrants. From those 3,100+ entries, a select group of essay enthusiasts from Kaplan then winnowed down the field to 10, which were then posted to Kaplan’s Facebook page at, and voted on by the public to choose three top winners. Here are the talented writers the voting public selected and their winning essays:

Laney Morris, of Flower Mound, Texas, the first place winner who received a $3,000 scholarship, wrote about the bravery of Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year old in Pakistan who stood up for the rights of girls to receive an education:

“This 14 year old took a stand for girls' education in Pakistan, voicing the injustice of living under Taliban control in her anonymous blog. And because of her courage, she was shot in the head as she rode a bus home from school last October. Malala Yousafzai recovered, with an even stronger voice. After recently writing her memoir, she will speak before the United Nations, and is currently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She is my age, and yet I am overwhelmed by her strength, bravery, and boldness. She won't be intimidated as she fights for education for all.”

Nicholas Crossan, of Oreland, Pennsylvania, the second place winner and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship, wrote about a friend’s strength after his brother committed suicide:

“In the wake of his brother's death, my friend, Chase Luxton, upholds his strength and continues to remember his brother each day. Cole committed suicide at the age of 15 and devastated my entire community. Chase felt tremendous pain but was able to transcend his depression and start a campaign for the better. ‘Keep on Smiling’ has been printed on shirts and wristbands, and even trended worldwide on twitter. It amazes me how my small town can make such a large impact; Chase and my community have raised awareness of suicide throughout the world. Chase inspires me to stay strong when I feel like giving up, and to ‘keep on smiling,’ always.”

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