MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) on Thursday, Feb. 4 announced the winners of its first-ever Rosa Parks Tribute Scholarship essay contest.
Thursday is the civil rights pioneer's birthday and National Transit Equity Day.
High school seniors in Milwaukee County who will attend a trade school, college or university were invited to submit a short essay, inspired by Parks' famous quote: "Each person must live their life as a model for others."
More than 50 essays were submitted and reviewed by a diverse panel of staff from MCTS, the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation, and the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs.
The following three students were chosen to each receive a $1,000 scholarship towards their higher education:
- Kayla Jimenez: Ronald Reagan High School, Milwaukee
- Anya Ramos: Audubon Technology and Communication High School, Milwaukee
- Iman Snobar: Ronald Reagan High School, Milwaukee
"Reading each entry was an inspiring experience," said Donna Brown-Martin, director of the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation. "This essay contest was a small way to honor the giants who came before us – like Rosa Parks – and invest in the next generation of leaders who will guide our community as we move forward on the path to achieve racial equity."
Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, after refusing to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her small act of civil disobedience led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation on public transportation.
Every year, on Dec. 1 -- recognized nationally as Rosa Parks Day -- MCTS honors Parks by reserving a seat on board all buses in its fleet.