Friday, April 30, 2010

Davisson Wins Essay Contest Writing About Nonviolence

Wells High School freshman and Weekly Sentinel volunteer Brett Davisson has become a state finalist in a national essay contest sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). With the theme of “The Effectiveness of Non-Violent Civic Action,” Davisson’s essay has earned him a $1,000 scholarship and an expense paid trip to Washington D.C. this summer.
The USIP contest generated 1,200 entries nationwide which were narrowed by judges to 50 state winners.
“This is my biggest achievement,” said Davisson of the honor.
Since the fall of 2009, Davisson has entered and won there writing contests. He learned of this recent accomplishment entitled, “The Effectiveness of Nonviolence: Indian Independence and Argentina” on April 12th.
In December, Davisson, received 1st Place in the High School Division of the Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest for his 1,000 word essay, “The Abenaki and the European Settlement of Maine.” In February, he placed first in the “Celebrating Darwin Student Essay Contest” with a 450-word essay entitled, “Tagging of Pacific Predators: Following in Darwin’s Footsteps.” This contest was hosted by the Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life (GoMA).
Davisson entered the United States Institute of Peace contest in January. The rules stipulated that submissions be limited to 1,200 to 1,500 words with footnotes and a through bibliography. The name of his 1,500-word essay is “The Effectiveness of Nonviolence: Indian Independence and Argentina.”
In Washington, Davisson and the other state finalists will meet with public officials and tour the U.S. capital. Included on that tour will be visits to various monuments and museums. In addition, state winners will attend an awards banquet and learn the names of the national winners in the USIP competition. First prize at the national level brings the recipient a $10,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $5,000 scholarship and third place will receive a $2,500 scholarship. More information on this contest can be found at
Davisson moved to Southern Maine from Pennsylvania with his family and was enrolled at Wells High School in October of 2009. He wishes to acknowledge WHS teacher Mrs. Madden (his sponsoring teacher in the contest) and his mother for their help editing his USIP essay.
According to the USIP website,, many winners in the United States Institute of Peace essay contests continue to study then work in international relations. Article by Reg Bennett.
Photo caption: WHS freshman Brett Davisson standing outside Wells High School on April 14th, 2010. (Reg Bennett photo)