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Strong Voices Essay Contest

The WIN Essay Contest challenged high school students to write an original and creative essay that demonstrates how you have been inspired by ground breaking women to be more courageous in your own life.

Winners announced March 26th


How have you been inspired by ground breaking women to be more courageous in your own life?


  • Essay length should be between 600 and 1,000 words.

  • Writing should be clear, creative, and proofread; demonstrate genuine grappling with the topic; and be the student’s original writing.


  • The contest is open to high school students in the United States including the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.

  • Norcal WIN board member families are not eligible to participate.



  • First place: $300

  • Honorable Mention: 2 or more essays will be selected to receive Starbucks and Women's Impact merchandise totaling $100 or more.

  • Winners will be asked to attend our virtual WIN Gala Honor Roll on Friday, March 26th, 2021.

Meet The Winners


Angela Xiong

Mission San Jose High School, Fremont CA

10th Grade

First Place

"In retrospect, I understand that materialistic possessions and titles do not equate to happiness.  
My mother’s love and care were enough. She always emphasized the importance of being yourself, telling me 
that as long as I was pursuing my dreams, it did not matter what others think; and to this day, I still carry that lesson along with all the other precious lessons and values that she has instilled in me within my heart."


Emma Gumacal

Del Campo High School, Fair Oaks

11th Grade

"She taught me and thousands of others that the beauty standard is not real. That healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. Sienna pushed me to love my body and gave me the courage to help others who felt the way I did. She gave me the courage to show off my beautiful body and let people know that they are beautiful too."


Batoul Mortada

Fremont High School, Sunnyvale

9th Grade

"As a female teenager in this misogynistic world, I used to feel unheard and unnoticed every time I wanted to speak out about a problem and its possible solution. The more I read about women activists, the more I realize that my problem is not that I am not being heard, it is just that I am talking to the wrong crowd."


Chloe Wong

James C. Enochs High School, Modesto

12th Grade

"Zetian is such an inspiration in my life because she is a Chinese woman who has used her beliefs and power to become the one everyone looks up to. The reason Wu Zetian is so significant to me is because in modern day, there has been harassment and violence against Asian-Americans and in Wu Zetian’s time she overcame the demoralization and dismissal from others and in the end finished on top."

Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention

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