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Irving High School Senior Wins Essay Competition Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Melissa Asigbe (photo courtesy of Irving ISD)

Melissa Asigbe, a senior at Irving High School, recently secured first place in the city's essay competition commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The competition, held by the City of Irving, invited students from grades 9 through 12 to reflect on Dr. King's impact and share their perspectives.

For Asigbe, who moved from Lagos, Nigeria, to the United States in December 2020, the opportunity to participate was both exciting and meaningful. Despite initial challenges adjusting to life in a new country, Asigbe has embraced her cultural heritage while excelling academically.

Reflecting on her journey, Asigbe expressed gratitude for her upbringing, stating, "My parents always taught me to get good grades, so that instilled in me to work hard and to have high standards for myself." She also acknowledged the influence of her late grandmother, who emphasized the importance of education and dedication.

Asigbe's essay highlighted Dr. King's enduring commitment to justice and equality, themes that resonate deeply with her own values and aspirations. "Dr. King’s dedication to the people – his impact and courage – is so inspiring," she remarked.

Having recently discovered the significance of Black History Month upon moving to the United States, Asigbe emphasized the importance of celebrating African-American history alongside her own African culture and heritage. From savoring traditional Nigerian dishes to sharing moments with her mother in the kitchen, Asigbe cherishes the connections to her roots.

Looking ahead, Asigbe plans to pursue a degree in nursing at the University of Texas at Austin, with aspirations of becoming a doctor. Her achievements in the essay competition mark a milestone in her academic journey, reflecting her commitment to excellence and honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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