Toan Bui, an eighth-grader at Arbutus Middle School, was among the six finalists from Baltimore County public schools in the 26th annual Champions of Courage Black History Month Essay Competition coordinated by WBFF-TV FOX 45 and WNUV-TV.

Meghan Abdo, a senior at Mount de Sales Academy, and Maryanna Antoldi, a sophomore at the all-girls Catholic high school in Catonsville, were also among the 20 finalists.

Students from Loch Raven High School, Pikesville High and Loch Raven Technical Academy won first-, second-, and third-place honors in the contest.

The students' recitations of their essays will be aired on the television stations through February.


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The award-winning essays were selected from 3,500 student entries from 83 public, private and parochial middle and high schools in the Baltimore metro area.

Students in grades 6 through 12 were asked to write essays about their personal heroes to describe how their heroes reflect the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The finalists were honored during a gala awards program at the Tremont Grand on Jan. 26 and each received a $100 award.

M&T Bank is the presenting sponsor of the annual competition.