I Have a Story to Tell – 2017 Holocaust Art and Writing Contest


“From Old to Young – A Story to Remember” Kaylee Takenaga, Grade 8

On Friday, March 10, 2017, educators and students gathered for the 2017 Chapman University Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. Marilyn Harran, Director of The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University, in her opening remarks expressed that, “Just as each survivor’s story is unique, so too is the creative response of each student… all have chosen to connect to the story of a Holocaust survivor and make it their own.”

Echoes and Reflections is honored to partner with Chapman University and the 1939 Society to bring the Holocaust Art and Writing Contest to students and classrooms across the globe each year. Lindsay Friedman, Echoes and Reflections Partnership Director, attended the ceremony and shared her thoughts:

“This year, it was my good fortune to present awards in person to these amazing young people. I was struck by the deeply personal connections that each student expressed in response to viewing the survivor testimony. It is always our hope that students see the relevance of this history in their lives today – and this came through without question. From global questions about refugees and immigration, to the most intimate reflections on family, love, and loss, students expressed a depth of understanding of the complexity of these issues, and an extraordinary depth of empathy and compassion.

During this tough time in our country and globally, to hear and watch and see the ways in which these young people now carry forward the stories and memories of Holocaust survivors gave me a sense of hope and optimism for the future.”

Explore these wonderful works that earned first place in the 2017 Holocaust Art and Writing Contest.

“Night of the Broken Glass and Broken Hearts”
Ashlyn Elggren, Grade 11

Middle School

Poetry: Ashes by Charlotte Casey, Grade 8 – St. Norbert Catholic School

“She sees the graveyard of broken souls and unkept promises She says Kaddish for the dead…” – Charlotte Casey

Prose: Lives of Color by Lyndsey Issa, Grade 8 – St. Junipero Serra Catholic School

“Will we allow our future to disappear into the shadows of fear and animosity? Or will we illuminate it with colors that crowd out hatred…” – Lyndsey Issa

Art: From Old to Young – A Story to Remember by Kaylee Takenaga, Grade 8 – Travis Ranch Middle School

Film: Invisible by Yunji Kim, Grade 8 – Kraemer Middle School

High School

Poetry: Don’t Know What to Say by Emily van Oudenhove, Grade 10 – Redhill School

“I have no words They slipped out from under me, and crushed me with their heavy hollowness…” – Emily van Oudenhove

Prose: Mine to Tell: Sol Messinger’s Story by Lillia Velau, Grade 10 – JSerra Catholic High School

“The television in my family room spits out news of the Syrian crisis… And in that instant, Sol Messinger’s story becomes mine to tell.” – Lillia Velau

Art: Night of the Broken Glass and Broken Hearts by Ashlyn Elggren, Grade 11 – Trabuco Hills High School

Film: My Letter by Hailey Shi, Grade 11 – Diamond Bar High School