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Prolife Youth Award

Annual Outstanding Prolife Youth Award

The Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund annually awards a $500 scholarship in March to one outstanding prolife high school senior in Michigan. Selection criteria include an essay and past participation in prolife activities. Award candidates are nominated by their local RLM affiliates, please contact them for more information and to get involved.


2017 Youth Award Winner - Eva Marie Solak, Gaylord Right to Life


Eva SolakEva is passionate about educating youth and igniting in them a love and respect for life. While vice president of Gaylord Right to Life’s youth branch, Teens for Life, Eva began and edited a four-page newsletter, "Life Fire," and led the fundraising for the group’s prolife billboard. The billboard, located just north of Gaylord on Interstate 75, went up in May 2016. Eva organized Gaylord's first and second Pro Life Youth Conferences and has spoken for the Teens for Life at two of Gaylord RTL’s benefit dinners. In May 2016 Eva placed 2nd at Right to Life of Michigan's State Oratory Contest. Twice Eva has been a keynote speaker at St. Mary Cathedral’s annual Rally for Life, once at their youth Rally for Life, and has spoken at their high school and middle school. After moving to the Upper Peninsula this past summer, Eva founded Upper Peninsula Pro Life Youth and serves as the group's president. She is helping the group plan a debate night and begin a newsletter before she graduates. Eva has developed a prolife education curriculum for high school and middle school students and plans on using it at Bishop Baraga Middle School in Iron Mountain. Eva intends to study political philosophy and will be attending the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire.

What can this next generation do to promote a positive prolife message?

The young are powerful and have strong voices. We have been born into a world that has little love or respect for life. It is our duty to rescue it and cultivate love and respect.

My peers desperately need to be educated on the layers of abortion, so they know what is true, are bold enough to speak up, and are not swayed. The young prolife are called to reveal this truth, and awaken in others a passion for defending life.

The prolife leaders of my generation need to go into schools to teach students about the intrinsic personhood of the unborn child, and of all human beings. I have created a pro life curriculum, a series of interactive presentations designed to teach and engage middle school and high school students. It is vital for people to be well versed with the truth about fetal development, abortion procedures, the laws on abortion, abortion statistics, the prolife/pro-abortion debate, euthanasia, and other life issues. My generation needs to bring this truth to our peers. It is not enough to be nominally pro life when it is necessary to be actively prolife. Educating in truth ignites the transformation necessary to cultivate respect for life.

Each person has gifts that need to be used to cultivate a culture of life. It is high time we raise the bar, challenge each other to use those gifts fervently, and make visible change. By rising to the occasion, we can work together in various ways to defend incredible human beings, worthy of love and respect. We need to renew action within ourselves, within youth, and within our society.

Prolife youth: your gifts are needed, your niche is waiting for you. If you are an artist, send your artwork ideas to Right to Life. If you can write, use your words to give the voiceless a voice. Write a column for your school newspaper. If you can speak, debate with your friends. Speak to schools, go into classrooms. Athletes, you can do awareness fundraisers at your sporting events. Whatever your gift is, use it. It has been given to you for a reason and you have an untapped potential for greatness.

Each of us are blessed to be living and breathing. Let’s do something powerful, for someone else, with the life we have been given.


Runner-up - Alayna Knarian, Huron County Right to Life


Alayna KnarianAlayna has involved herself in the prolife movement throughout her life and especially throughout her high school career. She has volunteered for the Huron County Right to Life by helping the organization set up youth rallies, benefit dinners, and memorial services. She has also volunteered for her local crisis pregnancy center and participated in protests, prayer services, rallies, dinners, and memorial services. Alayna plans to attend Grand Valley State University in the fall.

From Alayna's essay: "Because the unborn cannot voice their own opinions, pro-life citizens across the nation must be voices on their behalf. As technology and transportation evolve and advance, the opportunities to spread out pro-life message grow as well. Out generation can attend the annual March for Life in Washington D.C., we can spread the word about the barbarity of abortion through social media, and we can encourage and endorse pro-life alternatives to abortion . . . We have more opportunities than any generation before us, and we must utilize them to have our voices heard."


Honorable Mention - Michael Bursch, Caledonia-Middleville Right to Life


Michael BurschMichael Bursch is graduating from Caledonia High School. He started a Students for Life chapter at his high school three years ago. Michael has been the chapter's president since its inception. The chapter has had many speakers and has collected roughly $5,000 in baby items for pregnancy resource centers. Michael has attended the March for Life in Washington, DC, for the past three years and has twice been a speaker at the Caledonia-Middleville Sanctity of Life Night. He will continue his prolife involvement while studying architecture next year at the University of Notre Dame.

From Michael's essay: "Spreading the pro-life message starts with the youth. Students for Life groups at high schools and colleges are a necessity. Today’s youth are going to be tomorrow’s adults; they need to be fully convinced of the pro-life message. They will be the ones holding office, presiding over courts, and voting in elections. The good news is that this generation is the most pro-life generation yet."


Honorable Mention - Mariah Haskell, Grand Rapids Right to Life


Mariah HaskellMariah has been a strong supporter of the prolife movement for many years. She has been a four-year member of West Catholic High School Students for life. This past year she had the honor of serving as president of the group. Mariah went on the March for Life each year, traveling with Grand Rapids Right to Life. She also has prayed outside of the abortion clinic in Grand Rapids, served at the local Help Crisis Pregnancy center, attended prolife chalk days, participated in Life Chain, and supported prolife cupcake days throughout high school. She has attended or served at five “Focus on Life” dinner events in Michigan, read at the Mass for Life at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and heard Lila Rose speak. Mariah is planning on attending Ave Maria University to study Theology and will continue working in the prolife movement there.

From Mariah's essay: "I believe that we can use the gift of our lives to help stop the genocide of abortion in our nation . . . The personal encounter we can make with each person is powerful and our loving support of life can make a big difference when someone is in despair. People need to know that being prolife is normal and loving."

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