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A Jesuit College Preparatory Experience

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Loyola Academy Students Recognized in Holocaust Museum Arts and Writing Contest

Two Loyola Academy students in the Christology/World Religions class of Ms. Mary LaMont are finalists in the 2017 Leo and Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Arts and Writing Contest sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie.
“Because we are a World Religions class, the contest seemed like a good opportunity for students to dialogue with another religion,” says LaMont. The theme of this year’s contest was From Observer to Upstander: When Conscience Motivates Action.

Using graphics, colored pencils and markers, Peri Ehlman ’17 submitted a piece of art entitled “We Are All Jews Here.” The piece was chosen as one of the top scoring entries in the 2017 Leo and Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Arts and Writing Contest.  

“My piece is an artistic rendering of Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, an American serviceman in World War II who saved hundreds of Jewish-American soldiers in a POW camp,” Ehlman explains. “By declaring to Nazi captors, ‘We are all Jews here,’  Sergeant Edmonds exemplified what true courage looks like. My piece of art is meant to inspire others to do as American Sergeant Roddie Edmonds did by standing up for others and staying true to their morals and values.”

“A Little Bit of Hope,” a short story by Kayleigh Purcell ’17, was also selected as a top scoring entry. The story is narrated by Hope, a young girl who lives in Nazi Germany. Hope experiences heartbreak at the loss of eleven classmates—including her best friend Mirelle Levine—and betrayal when she learns that her father has begun to work with the Nazis.

“I’ve always been interested in historical fiction novels about the Holocaust—those served as a source of inspiration for sure,” says Purcell. “It’s been amazing to get a chance to share my work with people, and I hope that people learn that it’s important to always stand up for what you believe in.”

Ehlman and Purcell will be recognized at the contest awards ceremony on Sunday, April 30, at the museum.

“As Americans and as students of Loyola Academy, we are called to stand up for our beliefs and for each other,” says Ehlman, “no matter our religious and cultural differences.”

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