News and Events
Fridley Middle School (FMS), in partnership with the Get Ready college preparation program, hosted a “Cultural Essay Contest” during the month of February. Students were prompted to write about their cultures, family traditions and beliefs. A total of 45 students participated in the contest, describing their family backgrounds, holidays, special food, clothing, and more.
“We wanted to highlight the diversity of our students and the pride that individuals have in their cultures, family histories, and backgrounds,” said Get Ready Pathways Coordinator Kim Choyke. “I was so impressed with the thoughtfulness and insight that was put into all our students’ essays.”
One student winner was selected per grade level. Congratulations to the following students:
5th grade essay contest winner – Nasrudin Hussein
6th grade essay contest winner – Kency Cristobal
7th grade essay contest winner – Fraol Mumed
8th grade essay contest winner – Hafsa Osman
“These winning essays stood out for quality of writing, depth of information on culture and identity, and reflection on what their culture means to them,” said Choyke.
The students agreed that they enjoyed the opportunity to share and write about their cultures and identities.
Fifth grade student Nasrudin Hussein wrote about his Somali background and described major holidays, family life, and clothing. He also discussed respecting all cultures and embracing the uniqueness of one’s own culture. Nasrudin said that his mother and sister were his inspiration for writing his essay, as he enjoys listening to their stories.
Kency Cristobal, 6th grade, described her Mexican background through culture, food, music and clothes. She also discussed the many holidays and celebrations that her family celebrates, including El Dia de Guadalupe, El Dia de Los Reyes Magos, and El Dia de Los Muertos.
Fraol Mumed, who is in 7th grade, wrote about being Oromo-American. Both of his parents are from Ethiopia. Fraol described ancient traditions, food, clothing, and language. He is incredibly proud of his culture and history and said he greatly enjoys listening to his mother telling him stories about how she grew up.
“I love to listen to her and write the stories down,” said Fraol. “I just loved this opportunity to write about my culture.”
Eighth grader Hafsa Osman said her essay was inspired by a National History Day project she just completed, which focused on the Somali Civil War. Her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Somalia due to the conflict, told her stories of their experiences. Hafsa said that Somali culture can differ from clan to clan, and each clan can hold its own traditions.
The essays will be on display during the month of March by the FMS Student Support Services Office. Great work to all FMS students who participated in the essay contest!
Photo above (from l to r): FMS Cultural Essay Contest Winners: Hafsa Osman, Nasrudin Hussein, Kency Cristobal, and Fraol Mumed