01-30-2007 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - In celebration of Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine's integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., Alltel Wireless and Dr. Maya Angelou today announced the second annual ÒWords of Wisdom: Lessons in CourageÓ essay contest. The contest challenges students at participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country to use their knowledge of civil rights history to enact change by addressing the following topic, "Fifty years ago, the Little Rock Nine personified courage and spirit. Today, how will you?"
"Young people have a fresh perspective on history and what it can teach us about the world we live in today," said Regina Woziwodzki, director of segment marketing for Alltel Wireless. "We are proud to provide students a forum through our Words of Wisdom: Lessons in Courage essay contest to share their unique insights on our world and what they feel the future holds for us."
Nine grand prize winners will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to a participating HBCU institution as well as a trip to Little Rock where they will receive their scholarship during a special reception with Dr. Angelou at the Clinton Library. A tenth $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to the Little Rock Nine Foundation in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the landmark integration event.
"A half century ago, the Little Rock Nine broke down barriers to better their education. I am proud to be a part of a program that encourages young people to learn from the hardships of those students and use their courage to create change in their own lives," said Dr. Angelou. "I gladly support Alltel's commitment to the education of African-American students across the country."
Essay submission forms and contest rules are available online at alltel.com/wordsofwisdom or at any participating Alltel retail store. Entries must be post-marked by March 4, 2007, and winners will be presented with their awards on April 6, 2007. Graduating high school seniors who will be attending HBCU institutions also are eligible to participate.