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Lancaster Middle School Student Wins 2018 Dallas MLK Community Center Essay Contest

Kaiden Drain was featured and represented Lancaster ISD at the MLK Community Center's candlelight ceremony, awards banquet, and in the 2018 Annual MLK parade in Dallas, as its Top Middle School Essay winner. The other winners were from other Dallas County schools. Below is the text of his winning essay:
“Reflect on Yesterday for a Better Tomorrow”

Do you think tomorrow will be better than today? Reflecting on the past can help improve the future. As I look into the mirror to see my reflection, I also see my past, present, and future. We must think about what has happened to improve what is to come. Past actions, present outcomes, and future goals will all affect me today. Yesterday is past, but I must push forward and reach for the light of tomorrow.
In my past, I see the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King had outstanding accomplishments that set the path for me today. He held many titles such as activist, minister, and family man. He also received many accolades such the Nobel Peace Prize and Time magazine's 1963 Man of the Year. Dr. King wanted equality for all mankind and helped change life for African Americans as we know it to be today.  As I think about past events, Dr. King and his perseverance has positively impacted my life. He doesn’t have a hit record, nor does he have a dance move. He left behind a dream that I know can exist and I believe in that dream.

In my present, I see a young black man struggling because the color of his skin, but continuing to strive to do his best. I see the mothers’ tears of slain teenagers Shavon Randle and Jordan Edward. I see my President of the United States ridicule and judge people of different colors and creeds through the same social media sites I view daily. I am not what the hashtag labeled me as or what the media portrayed me to be. Today, I am a young black man with hopes, dreams, and goals of a better tomorrow.

In my future, I am Kaiden Drain, the leader, musician, and doctor. I see the results of Dr. King’s dream. A dream of "a table of brotherhood, an oasis of freedom and justice, and a day when we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character."
envision my college classmates laughing, professors teaching, and lives being changed as we work to meet our future goals. I will be a mouthpiece for hope, a spokesman for justice, and a symbol of success. Malcom X once said, "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” I have packed my suitcase of dream and aspirations and I am ready for this journey called life.

In conclusion, as I sit and think about the past, present, and future I know great things are to come. Tomorrow will be better because I will be prepared and have learned from my mistakes. I will learn to be open to new ideas and experiences. I can hear Dr. King’s voice ringing out, “Free at last, free at last thank God Almighty we are free at last.” I will remember that life may take me on a detour but the journey is not over.
In the words of Ice Cube, "Today was a good day," but I know tomorrow will be better.
Kaiden Drain/8th grade
Elsie Robertson Middle School