SIDNEY — Emma Keykens, Houston, a sophomore attending Lehman Catholic High School, was selected as the winner for the Multimedia portion of the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Essay and Multimedia Contest. Annually, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission hosts the state-wide contest, along with other contributing supporters. This year, sponsors included PNC, Honda of America and Wright State University.
Students were encouraged to submit an entry into one of three different categories: Essay, Art or Multimedia. The focus for the competition was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote, “If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means, keep moving.”
In an effort to promote King’s legacy, students were instructed to showcase struggles and setbacks in life, and how to keep moving forward to overcome them. Keykens chose to center around the topic of “loss.” Although loss can occur in so many different forms, Keykens chose three to focus on during her video. Her compilation has a very personal and special meaning to her, and offered a message she felt compelled to share.
Keykens said, “Only a few types of loss are featured in my presentation, but there are so many losses one can face. I wanted to reveal a sense of reality throughout this video along with passion, hurt and most importantly, hope. In the video, my dad, Victor Keykens, speaks freely about losing his job in 2014 and the hardships it posed on my family. The second person is my uncle, Chris Hensley, discussing a very emotional, tragic loss of his 15-year-old daughter, Christen Hensley in 2011. My last interview participant was my English teacher at Lehman, Ms. Alexis Kreusch; whom I might add, was the one who encouraged me to enter the contest. She spoke about dealing with mental health issues and the road to recovery.”
The young teen continued, “Most often, our world acts as if emotional pain is this invisible hurt and defect. I want others to know, although not always seen, every person has their own personal struggles story to tell. Most importantly to me, I want others to see that God offers hope and light, even in the midst of the darkest times of our lives. It’s important that we be mindful of others emotions and be kind to one another.” Keykens concluded, “In the end, love God and love others. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”
She is the daughter of Victor and Sheila Keykens.