50,000 Entries and Only 50 Winners
As soon as the first ever Oprah's National High School Essay Contest was announced in January 2006, the entries began pouring in. Fifty thousand students responded to the question, "Why is Elie Wiesel's book Night relevant today?"
A special team of teachers and librarians were hired to join Harpo staffers in narrowing down the selection to 100 semi-finalists. Then a panel of esteemed judges chose the final 50 winners, who hail from 22 states and speak 13 languages. Three are class presidents and all are honor students. Three have relatives who survived the Holocaust—and some have even survived genocide themselves. Each winner is eloquent and passionate.