Over 1,000 students participated in this year’s contest from 18 states. From those essays, teachers submitted their top selections resulting in nearly 500 entries. Winning essays came from students in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Each winner will receive a cash prize and have the opportunity to be recognized at a ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in January.

The April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building occurred because people chose violence as a means to express disagreement and effect change. Unfortunately, in today’s society, too many individuals are still choosing violence as their voice. The 2016 Student Essay Contest used quotes, political cartoons and images to highlight the importance of using your voice peacefully to make changes in your school, community, state or government.

5th and 6th Grades

1st – Michael Brower, 6th, Sequoyah Middle School, Edmond, OK
2nd – Kleet Keller, 6th, Sequoyah Middle School, Edmond, OK
3rd – Jane Kingrey, 6th, Sequoyah Middle School, Edmond, OK

7th and 8th Grades

1st – Jack Carter, 8th, Oakdale School, Edmond, OK
2nd – Amara Foret, 8th, Southwest Covenant Christian School, Yukon, OK
3rd – Gloria Reyes, 7th, Tonkawa Jr High School, Tonkawa, OK

9th and 10th Grades

1st – Josie Callen, 10th, Lawton High School, Lawton, OK
2nd – Matt Farabow, 9th, Community Christian School, Norman, OK
3rd – Ijeoma Okere, 10th, Lawton High School, Lawton, OK

11th and 12th Grades

1st – Rose Ho, 12th, Homeschool, Valley Park, MO
2nd – Rachel Newman, 11th, Harding Charter Prep, Oklahoma City, OK
3rd – Shubham Gulati, 11th, OK School of Science and Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK


We are grateful to Allegiance Credit Union for sponsoring this contest, and proud of our continued partnership. The Federal Employees Credit Union, which changed its name to Allegiance Credit Union in 2003, was located on the third floor of the Murrah Building and lost 18 of its 33 employees in the bombing. Six of the surviving employees were seriously injured. With the assistance of other credit unions and volunteers, they were able to reopen within 48 hours at a temporary site furnished by Tinker Federal Credit Union. “The legacy of FECU, the restoration, and continued growth as Allegiance Credit Union makes members and employees alike, proud to be credit union people,” said Lynette Leonard, Allegiance Credit Union President/CEO.