Telling Their COVID-19 Stories: Samantha Correa, Kaileigh Guin and Leah Ullman


Ariana Alvarez

An insight on the winners of the PTSA Covid-19 Essay Contest winners

Ariana Alvarez, Staff Writer

The Coral Gables High School PTSA recently held a COVID-19 essay contest where students could submit their own piece of writing in which they express their quarantine experiences. While each submission told an amazing story with different techniques and strategies, three pieces of writing stood out the most. Those particular essays belonged to Samantha Correa, Kaileigh Guin and Leah Ullman.
Samantha Correa
Samantha Correa was encouraged by her yearbook class to submit something of her own in the contest. The senior wrote an essay where she demonstrates to the reader all the ups and downs of her COVID-19 experience. She writes about the range of things she did including finishing the yearbook and starting a community project. She also explains how this experience has led her to learn more about herself and has been a great reflective opportunity. Correa chose to express her writing in the form of an essay because not only is she more used to that format due to the many scripts she writes but it also reflects how her thoughts flow. They are strung together and, in the end, form one general message.
Leah Ullman

I know I was up against some really incredible writers and it feels nice to be recognized for my submission.”

— sophomore Leah Ullman

Leah Ullman focused on how quarantine changed her. She believes, since this is something that many people have experienced, that it is important to acknowledge how much all this time alone has changed us as people. Ullman entered the contest in hopes of challenging herself against all the other talented writers she would be competing against. She was able to show her talent and skill, which secured her spot as a winner, through her writing. The sophomore is planning on using her award money to buy art supplies and invest in the jewelry business that she is starting.
Kaileigh Guin
Quarantine for Kaileigh Guin has come with a range of emotions. Guin’s family is at high risk due to certain medical issues so this pandemic has definitely taken a toll on her. She was able to express all her thoughts and emotions through her poem that she submitted for this contest. She focused on how scary this entire time has been and how important it is to be cautious. By using a poem format and a variety of literary devices, Kaileigh Guin was able to combine her feelings into a winning piece of writing.
“It feels great honestly. I was really proud of the piece and it feels great that other people thought so as well,” sophomore Kaileigh Guin said.
Whether it was an essay or a poem, not only each of these winners but every student who participated in this contest portrayed their own skills and talents through their piece of writing. By submitting writing in this contest, students were able to share all of their unique experiences throughout this life-changing moment in our history.