Young Ypsi writers answer the question: "How would you solve your community's greatest challenge?"

How would you solve your community's greatest challenge?


That was the question Concentrate/On the Ground Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University's Upward Bound program posed to local teens in a recent writing challenge. Today, we're proud to share the results.


Upward Bound is a pre-college academic program designed to help Ypsilanti Community High School students improve their skills and prepare them for college. This month, during Upward Bound's Summer Academy, Concentrate managing editor Patrick Dunn introduced the challenge to Upward Bound students in a writing workshop. Upward Bound English instructor David Boeving then helped the students write and revise their essays answering the topic question.


The students all wrote terrific essays grappling with vital social issues, but we had to select just five finalists to receive a $50 stipend apiece. Their essays are featured below. We hope you enjoy these insights from some of the brightest young thinkers and writers in the Ypsi community.


Alexis Herron, "Abortion in my community"

Cara Altherr, "Hidden truths in Ypsilanti"

Davonna Washington, "Power used against you"

Mareka Ray, "Opioid epidemic"

Selena Calzado on immigration


Patrick Dunn is Concentrate's managing editor.
All photos by Doug Coombe.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.