St. Catharines student wins A & E Essay Contest

Sofia Gandola won first prize in the A & E Lives That Make a Difference Essay Contest for her essay about rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor Drake. NCDSB photo

Sofia Gandola, a grade seven student at Assumption Catholic Elementary School in St. Catharines won first prize in the A & E Lives That Make a Difference Essay Contest, grade 5 to 8 category.

“Sofia’s essay on Drake was chosen from over a thousand submissions received this year for the nationwide contest,” an A & E press release announced Tuesday May 29/2018.

She will receive a cheque for $2,000, her teacher will receive $1,000 for use in the classroom.

“Sofia’s essay brought into focus the impact that Drake has had not only on the music industry, but on the city that he has made a central theme of his art and philanthropy,” said Sara Hinzman, Vice President Distribution, A+E Networks in the press release. “Her essay stood out for its eloquent description of the work Drake has undertaken to contribute to the community he has called home all his life.”

“Sofia’s essay on Drake touched on his importance to Canada, describing how ‘Drake has significantly contributed to Canada’s cultural landscape not only as a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, but also as Toronto’s greatest champion,’” the press release said.  “Sophia further wrote that ‘Drake is a great Canadian artist who inspires the next generation of Canadian hip-hop/R&B artists and whose love for Toronto has made it one of the world’s coolest cities.’”

The grand prize in the category went to Lauren West, a grade eight student at Fisher Park School in Ottawa. Jade Guan, grade 12 at Lambrick Park Secondary School in Victoria, BC, was the grand prize winner in the Grade 9-12 category, the first place winner in that category was Aidan Buhler, grade 12 of O’Gormon High School in Timmins.



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