18th Annual MLK Jr. Freedom Breakfast to Showcase Student Winners

MLK The University of Georgia invites the community to join in celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom breakfast. The virtual event will be held Friday, January 15, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. The event is free and open to the public and can be accessed on the UGA Facebook page.

As part of the program, Dr. Xernona Thomas, superintendent of the Clarke County School District, will showcase the winners from the district's annual art and literature contest that celebrates the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year, students were asked to answer this question: "How can I help achieve Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality and freedom for all?"

"We are proud of the reflection, creativity, and time our students committed to creating thought-provoking and insightful entries. We are excited to share them with our community," states Dan Smith, the Fine Arts, Health, & Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator.

"We all have the power to help change our world, one courageous act at a time," states Dr. Xernona Thomas, superintendent of the Clarke County School District. One of Dr. King's many famous quotes says, 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' These amazing students have broken the silence. They have used their brilliance, creativity, arts, and language skills to end the silence about freedom and equality."

Student Winner


Elijah Long, 1st Grade

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary

Mia Hernandez Zambrano, 1st Grade

Fowler Drive Elementary

Olivia Hart, 2nd Grade

Timothy Road Elementary

Ryan Watkins, 3rd Grade

Barnett Shoals Elementary

Noa Brown, 4th Grade

Timothy Road Elementary

Jonas Stephens, 4th Grade (overall district winner)

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary

Laila Nobles, 5th Grade (honorable mention)

Barnett Shoals Elementary

Gabrielle Sturdivant, 6th Grade

Coile Middle School

Hania Ijaz, 6th Grade

Clarke Middle School

Natalie Schliekelman, 11th Grade

Clarke Central High School

Isaac Rodriguez Salazar, 12th Grade

Clarke Central High School