2014 Common Book Writing Contest
Emily Leopard received first place for her poem submission, “To You, My Thanks,” in the Common Book Writing Contest for first year students. An Athens, Georgia native, Leopard is a freshman majoring in pre-chemistry education at Auburn University.
Leopard felt so moved by the themes in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind that she said she knew she wanted to write something about it. “The contest was an opportunity to express my feelings about a book through a medium that I enjoy,” she said. Leopard utilized her poetry skills to connect with William Kamkwamba’s goal of constantly striving to meet the needs of others. The judges admired the way that her poem showed evidence of careful composition and maintained consistency across the chosen genre.
Hoping to be a teacher one day, Leopard honed in on the concept of learning through a mentor as Kamkwamba did in the story. The importance of having someone to encourage people as they learn stuck out to Leopard in a way that she said “will impact her future as a teacher.”