MARTINEZ — Winners of the 2016 Student Essay Contest sponsored by the Shell Martinez Refinery have been announced, with nine students from Martinez Unified School District schools winning prizes ranging from $100 to $2,500.

The winners will be celebrated at a dinner on Tues., Nov. 8, hosted by Shell at the Shell Clubhouse in downtown Martinez.

In this second annual contest, students were asked to write, from their own perspective, what it means to engage in community service or volunteer efforts.  Shell Martinez chose this topic because workers at the refinery are very involved in a wide range of community service projects and volunteer activities, from delivering Meals on Wheels to homebound senior citizens to painting community and nonprofit buildings, reading to children, planting community gardens and putting on the Shell/Martinez Education Foundation Run for Education annually.

For the essay contest, Shell Martinez provides the monetary awards, hosts the awards dinner and picks up other associated costs. The contest entries are reviewed initally by school district teachers and then judged by a committee selected from the greater Martinez community.

Martinez Unified Schools Superintendent CJ Cammack said the district is “incredibly grateful for Shell's continued commitment to the success of our schools and our individual students.”

“This essay contest is a superb example of how Shell integrates the concepts of learning and community service to engage students in a meaningful activity of expression and creativity,” Cammack said. “We are very proud of all the students that participated in the essay contest and thrilled to see the great work of our winners. The strength and success of a community is largely dependent on the success of the schools and the level of community engagement. Shell's support of our schools and programs like this essay contest are significant factors in helping us build on the strengths of the Martinez community." 

The winners of this year’s contest are:

High School

  • 1st Place ($2,500) = Aaron Sullivan
  • 2nd Place ($1,000) = Dylan Gregory
  • 3rd Place ($500) = Sam Millson

Junior High School

  • 1st Place ($500) = Shauna Wiebalk (7th Grade)
  • 2nd Place ($250) = Nivia Buttar (8th Grade)
  • 3rd Place ($100) = Aylssa Yearick (7th Grade)

Elementary Schools

  •         1st Place ($500) = Kayla Welch  (5th Grade)
  •         2nd Place ($250) = Chiara Ke (4th Grade)
  •         3rd Place ($100) = Jaap Kaur (4th Grade)

 The questions asked were: What does giving back to your community mean to you? In your essay, you can choose one of these two perspectives

  1. Tell how YOU give back to your community OR
  2. Tell the (true) story of someone you have interviewed who gives back to their community.

More About Shell Martinez

Martinez Refinery

Shell Martinez refines and markets gasoline and petroleum products under the Shell brand name throughout the west and northern midwest.