October 17, 2022
Maria Ruiz‘s essay, “Side Effects Include,” has been selected as the grand prize winner in the Scholastic x Girls Write Now My Life With… Essay Contest. The essay will appear online and in the print edition of Choices magazine later this fall, and Maria will receive a $500 cash prize. Her win was announced at the Girls Write Now 2022 Agents of Change Awards where Maria met Scholastic’s President of Education Solutions and Girls Write Now honoree, Rose Else-Mitchell.
Maria deftly and bravely told the story of her diagnosis with a brain tumor at the age of 15 in her winning essay. As a senior in high school, she hopes to attend college and become a neurosurgeon one day. The Scholastic panel of judges chose Maria’s piece for its honest and approachable depiction of her health struggle, making it a perfect read for the thousands of young adults who receive Choices in their classrooms.
Maria’s essay will be published online in November, and will appear in a later print edition of Choices.