TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) honored more than 80 middle school students who participated in his second annual "Women Who Inspire Me" essay contest.
This idea was created as a way for Rep. Grijalva and his staff to honor Women's History Month. All of the students who participated were from various parts of his district.
"All the stories that come in are unbelievably inspiring," said Rep. Grijalva. " Full of a lot of, for many of us old timers, a lot of good hope."
In an intimate event held at Rep. Grijalva's new Tucson office located in the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center on West Irvington Road, participants and their families had a chance to mingle with local women leaders, such as female law enforcement officers with the Tucson Police and Fire Departments.
The names of students of this year's winning submissions for each grade level are as follows
- 6th Grade - Alessa Lopez
- 7th Grade - Ramon Maken
- 8th Grade - Dafne Caballero
"She doesn't have a sister like I do and me and my sisters are very close," said Alessa Lopez's mother, Angelica Lopez. "So, it's important that she's able to connect with somebody and have that relationship."
The 12-year-old 6th grader wrote her essay about her big sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson Alison Irwin, a University of Arizona student from Connecticut.
"I started looking at the Big Brothers Big Sister's program and then I learned there were so many people who needed big sisters and big brothers," said Irwin.
And the lessons Alessa Lopez is learning will go beyond this moment.
"It made me feel special that she came and visited me every Monday at school," said the young girl about Irwin. "If you study hard and work hard, it may get you a better place for school and the future as well."