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Voice of Youth in Print: Congratulations to our Essay Contest Winners!

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Responding to the suggestion of the leaders of Milwaukee’s venerable Fellowship Open Charity Organization, the CLIMB leaders invited the youth of Southeast Wisconsin to submit an essay regarding their impressions of the book, “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun”, by Blair Walker.

In the weeks preceding the essay deadline, the essayists were treated to a succession of enrichment workshops. These customized sessions included introductions through virtual meetings to Attorney John Daniels Jr. who knew Reginald Lewis, the iconic businessman who is the central figure in the book, and Blair Walker, the book’s author. The essayists also were treated to a composition workshop presented by Wil Harvil, an AP composition teacher at the Milwaukee School of Languages, and they enjoyed an entertaining performance workshop entitled, “The Power of Words” by David Daniels, a renowned actor and youth educator from American Players Theater.

The judging process for the contest was coordinated by Donald Dantzler, Ph.D. a candidate in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Members of Beta Alpha Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity served as judges.

Donald Singleton, a graduate of Milwaukee Pius High School and currently a freshman at the University of San Francisco, took first place in the essay competition. Singleton is a Milwaukee Fellow, a member of the CLIMB CASH Investment Club, and a former winner of Asset Builders’ Regional Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl. Yesenia Perez, a junior at the Milwaukee School of Languages won second place, and Victor Barnett Jr., a senior at Brown Deer High School won third. The essay winners received $1000, $500 and $400 respectively. All other essayists received honorable mention and a financial reward in recognition of their effort.  The prize money was specifically earmarked for the participants’ savings accounts.

Donald Singleton, the essay contest winner, indicated that he was elated to learn about the life and success of the legendary Reginald Lewis. He stressed that Lewis is a perfect role model for his own career, given that he aspires to follow Lewis’ footsteps into to private equity investing. In fact, Singleton plans to intern at a west coast venture capital firm this summer.

Hearty Congratulations to all of the participants in CLIMB’s inaugural Voice of Youth Essay Contest!

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