Essay Contest

Right to Life of Indianapolis sponsors a series of Essay Contests for all Indianapolis area 7-12 grade students. There are four individual contests, one for 7th grade, one for 8th grade, one for 9th & 10th grades and one for 11th & 12th grades. Each student entry must have a sponsoring organization, such as a church, school or home school organization. The sponsoring organization must be located in Marion County or one of the seven bordering counties.

Each essay is to address a particular topic which is determined by Right to Life Indianapolis each year (See contest rules below for 2018 essay topics.)

To download the 2018 High School application please  click here 

To download the 2018 High School contest rules please  click here 

To download the 2018 Junior High application please  click here 

To download the 2018 Junior High contest rules please  click here 

For questions or to request literature of additional information, please call Right to Life of Indianapolis at 317-582-1526 or email .

Speech Contest

Each year Right to Life of Indianapolis holds a Speech Contest for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. The contest is open to students who reside in Marion County, or any of the bordering counties.

The winner of the speech contest will be invited to deliver their speech at the Annual Celebrate Life Dinner on September 25, 2018. This event, held at the Indianapolis JW Marriott, draws 1000-1200 people every year. Although 10th grade students are allowed to participate, only students in the 11th and 12th years are permitted to advance to the state competition.

The competition will be held on a Saturday in April.

Contest time and location to be determined.

To download the 2018 printable application, please click here.

To download the 2018 Speech contest rules, please  click here.

Art Contest

Right to Life of Indianapolis sponsors an annual art contest open to all students enrolled in grades 9 – 12. The contest is open to students who reside in Marion County, or any of the bordering counties.

The theme of the art contest is “Celebrate Life.”  The winning artwork will grace the cover of the Annual Right to Life of Indianapolis Dinner Program on September 25, 2018.  This event, held at the Indianapolis JW Marriott, draws 1000-1200 people every year.  The winning student will be recognized in the program and will be our guests at the dinner.

Click here to download the 2018 Art Contest Application and Rules

Click here to download the 2018 Letter to All Art Students.

Click here to download the 2018 Art Teacher’s Letter

Right to Life of Indianapolis Joan Byrum Student Scholarship

Joan Byrum
Right to Life of Indianapolis awards one $1,000 scholarship annually to a senior in High School who has demonstrated outstanding pro-life Leadership. Click here for more information

Congratulations to our Right to Life Essay Contest Winners!

Grade Seven:

1. Carolyn Pfunder – St. Luke Catholic School

2. Grace O’Donnell – Burge Terrace Baptist Church

3. Ella Grace Giedd – Lumen Christi Catholic School

4. Olivia O’Rourke – Homeschool

5. Ethan Green – Suburban Christian School

Grade Eight:

1. Thomas DeFreese – Homeschool

2. Gabriella Einterz – Lumen Christi Catholic School

3. Sarah Muldoon – St. Luke Catholic School

4. Clarie Wilhelm – Suburban Christian School

5. James Duncan – St. Simon Catholic Church

Grade Nine and Ten:

1. Anne Marie Frisby – Lumen Christi Catholic School

2. Liam O’Rourke – Homeschool

3. Karen Kramer – Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Catholic School

4. Isaiah Crute – Suburban Christian School

5. Ellie Sheddy – Cathedral High School

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Faith Murrell – Homeschool

2. Jacey Stahlhut – Zionsville Fellowship

3. Rayna Onate – Cathedral High School

4. Lindsey Cox – Suburban Christian School

5. Colin O’Rourke – Homeschool

Past Essay Winners


Grade Seven:

1. Megan Waning – St. Malachy Catholic School

2. Lauren Soukup – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

3. Sydney Nichols – Lumen Christi Catholic School

4. Lauren Bohrer – Hope Community Church

5. Maura Flood – St. Luke Catholic School

Grade Eight:

1. Grace Snyder – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

2. tie Eden Garner – Lumen Christi Catholic School

2. tie Karen Kramer – Nativity of OLJC Catholic Church

4. Liam O’Rourke – Homeschool

5. Ella Gebke – St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School

Grade Nine and Ten:

1. Faith Murrell – Homeschool

2. Joe Schmid – Guerin Catholic High School

3. Mary Kate Green – Suburban Christian School

4. Collin O’Rourke – Homeschool

5. Anna Stankovski – K of C Council #12510

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Madeleine O’Rourke – Homeschool

2. Abbey Bohrer – Hope Community Church

3. Marissa McCrary – Suburban Christian School

4. Phoebe Alexander – Burge Terrace Baptist Church Home Educators

5. Carly Joy Weiss – Trinity Baptist Church


Grade Seven:

1. Liam O’Rourke – Holy Family Academy

2. Diane Stahlhut – Boone County Christian Home Educators

3. Karen Kramer – Nativity Catholic Church

4. Callie Sharkey – Knights of Columbus #11896

5. Julia Frisby – Lumen Christi Catholic Church

Grade Eight:

1. Jack Gorsage – Holy Rosary Catholic Church

2. Samantha Farrell – St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church

3. Riley Samuelson – Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church

4. Emily Asbury – Suburban Christian School

5. Jennifer Davis – Lumen Christi Catholic School

Grade Nine and Ten:

1. James Green – Knights of Columbus #12510

2. Mary Kate Green – Suburban Christian

3. Emma Eifert – Cardinal Ritter High School

4. Jackie Sapienza – Guerin Catholic High School

5. Abbey Bohrer – Hope Community Church

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Paige Murrell – RHETORIC Speech and Debate Club

2. Andrea Stanley – Holy Rosary Catholic Church

3. Isabella Penola – The Master’s Study

4. Jill Koval – 1st Baptist Church, Mooresville

5. Chalyn Berry – Suburban Christian School


Seventh Grade Winners

1st Place:
Alex Taylor, St. Monica Catholic School

2nd Place:
Jake Rosko, Holy Rosary Catholic Church

3rd Place:
Anne-Marie Frisby, St. Joseph Catholic School-Lebanon

4th Place:
Jake Spears, Suburban Christian School

5th Place:
Elaine Esposito, St. Luke Catholic Church

Eight Grade Winners

1st Place:
Olivia Origer, Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School

2nd Place:
Will Hupfer, St. Luke Catholic School

3rd Place:
Nathan Marks: St. Monica Catholic School

4th Place:
Nancy Kuhn, St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic School

5th Place:
James Green, Knights of Columbus-St. Alphonsus Church

5th Place:
Anna Johnson, Homeschool

Ninth & Tenth Grade Winners

1st Place:
Michaela White, Zionsville Fellowship Church

2nd Place:
Mary Barnes, Holy Rosary Catholic Church

3rd Place:
Samantha Koval, RHETORIC Club

4th Place:
Jaylah Patterson, Covenant Christian

5th Place:
Nathan Oliver, Lumen Christi Catholic Church

Eleventh & Twelfth Grade Winners

1st Place:
Isabella Penola, Masters Study

2nd Place:
Gabrielle O’Rourke, Homeschool

3rd Place:
Nathanael Johnson, Homeschool

4th Place:
Johannah Shank, Homeschool

5th Place:
Benjamin Lewandowski, Homeschool


Grade Seven:

1. Kate Morse – St. Barnabas

2. Jackie Sapienza – Our Lady of Grace

3. Rita Brockman – Lumen Christi

4. Michelle Combs – St. Philip Neri

5. Maria Brown – Home School

Grade Eight:

1. John Collins – St. Simon

2. Michael Lesch – Lumen Christi

3. Phoebe Alexander – Home School

4. Nancy Kuhn – St. Luke

5. (tie) Alex Pachciarz/Jacy Stahlhut – St. Joan of Arc/Boone Cty. Christian Home Educators

Grade Nine and Ten:

1. Kyrsten Curtis – Burge Terrace

2. Madeleine O’Rourke – Home School

3. John Paul Plummer – Our Lady of Greenwood

4. Sarah Cavender – Bishop Chatard High School

5. Benjamin Lewandowski – Home School

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Jane Kukolla – Cathedral High School

2. Gabrielle O’Rourke – Home School

3. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian

4. Andrea Stanley – Holy Rosary

5. Rachel Massey – Servant’s Heart Schoolroom


Grade Seven:

1. Andrew Cox – Suburban Christian School

2. Joey Weas – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

3. Grace Smith – SS. Francis and Clare School Ministry

4. Kelby Sullivan – Our Lady of Grace Catholic School

5. Clark Arbogast – Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School

Grade Eight:

1. Sarah Cavender – SS. Francis and Clare School

2. Natalie Lake – St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic School

3. Chalyn Berry – Suburban Christian School

4. Sarah Conners – Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School

5. Rachel Vandivier – Calvary Lutheran School

Grade Nine and Ten:

1. Kyrsten Curtis – Home School

2. Roz Massey – Servant’s Heart Schoolroom

3. Nathanael Johnson – Granville Academy

4. Haylee Weiss – Lumen Christi Catholic School

5. Jenna Joy Parks – Eagle Creek Grace Brethren Church

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian School

2. Bethany Magee – Home School

3. Michael Boye – Home School

4. Nicole Enyart – Union Bible Academy

5. Rachel Massey – Servant’s Heart Schoolroom


Grade Seven:

1. Liam Hosty – St. Barnabas Catholic Schooll

2. Gina Solomita – Home School

3. Corinne Maue – Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School

4. Sarah Ludwig – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

5. Chalyn Berry – Suburban Christian School

Grade Eight:

1. Sam Gorsage – Lumen Christi Catholic School

2. Allison Young – St. Luke The Evangelist Catholic School

3. Matt Cunningham – St. Barnabas Catholic School

4. Ellie Perkins – Legacy Christian School

5. (TIE)Andrea Stanley – Holy Rosary Catholic Church and Aurelia Vaiana – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School

Grade Nine and Ten:

1.Karli Smith – Lumen Christi Catholic High School

2.Gabrielle O’Rourke – Home School

3. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian School

4. Adam Linscott – Covenant Christian High School

5. Abbey Gleixner – Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Daniel O’Rourke – Home Schooll

2. Shelby Ennis – Roncalli High School

3. Casey Fricker – Lumen Christi Catholic High School

4. Rebecca Van Lieu – Irvington Preparatory Academy

5. Staci Goar – Suburban Christian School/p>


Grade Seven:

1. Jasmine Noel, Calvary Lutheran School

2. (TIE)Mary Glowner, Central Catholic School and
Matt Cunningham, St. Barnabas Catholic School

4. A. J. Krok – Maria Goretti Church

5. Joe Barnes – Lumen Christi Catholic School

Grade Eight:

1. Taylor Brown – Homeschool

2. Kelsey Stolz – St. Luke Catholic School

3. Elizabeth March – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School

4. Gabrielle O’Rourke – Homeschool

5. (TIE) Christina Thibodeau – Trinity Lutheran School and
Rachel Louthan – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

Grade Nine and Ten:

1.Daniel O’Rourke – Home School

2.Nicole Enyart, Union Bible Academy

3. Michele Owen – Covenant Christian School

4. (TIE) Emily Weindorf – Colonial Christian School and
4. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian School

Grade Eleven and Twelve:

1. Johanna Richardson – Home School

2. John Andrew O’Rourke- Home School/p>3. Alex Dowbnia – Generation Joshua of Hendricks County4. (TIE) Christine White – Cathedral High School and
4. Rebecca Van Lieu – Irvington Preparatory Academy


7th Grade:

1. Samantha Smith – Holy Spirit Catholic School

2. Marty Brennan – Nativity Catholic School

3. Erin Coffey – Our Shepherd Lutheran School

4. McKenna Kirkwood – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

5. Olivia Rangaswami – St. Luke Catholic School8th Grade:

1. Caroline Skulski – St. Luke Catholic School

2. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian School

3. Mary Gorsage – Lumen Christi Catholic School

4. Allison McKinney – St. John Vianney Catholic Church

5. Natalie Roberts – St. Barnabas Cathollic ChurchFreshman and Sophomore:

1. Johanna Richardson – Homeschool

2. Taylor Whittier – Homeschool

3. Megan McKinney – St. John Vianney Catholic Church

4. Allison Scarlott – Cathedral High School

5. Kaitlyn Fleming – St. Anthony Catholic ChurchJunior and Senior:

1. Abigail Richardson – Homeschool

2. Samantha Stempky – Cathedral High School

3. Megan Sangl – St. Malachy Catholic Church

4. John Andrew O’Rourke – Homeschool

5. Lauren Hughes – Bishop Chatard High School


7th Grade:

1. Claire Christoff – Christ the King Catholic School

2. Mia Ray – Suburban Christian School

3. Morgan Corbett – St. Maria Goretti Catholic School

4. Elizabeth Settle – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School

5. Sam Lesch – Lumen Christi School

8th Grade:

1. Daniel O’Rourke – Holy Family Home School

2. Anna Bennington – St. Luke School

3. Robert Harris – Cross and Crown Lutheran Church

4. Megan McKinney – ARCHES of Greater Indianapolis

5. Grace Kinnaman – St. Maria Goretti School

Freshman and Sophomore:

1. Johanna Richardson – Academy of Lifelong Learning

2. Taylor Whittier – Twin Oaks Academy

3. Kelly Dyer – Dyer Home School

4. Megan Collier – St. Rose Catholic Church

5. John Andrew O’Rourke – Holy Family Home School

Junior and Senior:

1. Abigail Richardson – Academy of Lifelong Learning

2. Christopher Lanctot – Home School Gathering

3. Katie Dapper – Cathedral High School

4. Suzanne Pottratz – Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School

5. Rachel Smith – Suburban Christian School


2007 RTL Essay
By Grace Moore
Grade 7


What if everyone were perfect? If there were only people with perfect bodies, perfect brains, perfect everything, it would be pretty boring. That is why it is extremely imperative for us to cherish, protect, help and love the people that are not perfect with all our hearts.

If everyone were perfect, there would be no Maddie. He was not perfect. He was the boy with muscular dystrophy who Oprah Winfrey had on her show to discuss the books of poetry he had written, the souls he touched, and the difference he made on Earth in his short life. My grandfather is not perfect either. He has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. It’s like Parkinson’s Disease but worse. He can’t walk very well anymore; he has trouble eating, he chokes a lot and it is very difficult to understand him when he speaks. My grandfather has taught me about having a great spirit when things are not that good. He smiles all the time. That teaches me how to live my life, with a smile. My grandfather also loves my family with all his heart, even though he could be filled with frustration and resentment.

Disabled children like Maddie teach others to love and to hate no one. Maddie said he was praying for everyone in the world when, clearly, he was the one who should have been asking for prayers. His courage and love has touched me. He asked for nothing, he just found love in giving. My grandpa never complains. He is happy to just see us. I cherish my time with him. He has taught me to be positive, spirited, and to love and respect everyone. He has also taught me patience. I am sure the boy I saw in Church has had a hard time in his everyday life, having many struggles that just seem second nature to us. But, what struck me was how happy he was just to be in there with God in Church. I take this for granted. These are people who have taught me about hope, faith, and love. They have taught me every moment I’ve been with them. They are the souls who, freed from their sick bodies, will rise up to be right next to Jesus.

We mustn’t stare at disabled people. We must help them when they need it. We must learn more about their disabilities. We must protect their rights and their spirits. Most of all, we must cherish them. For they are what makes our world a little more perfect!

2007 RTL Essay
By  A.J. Gorsage
Grade 8

A Face Created in the Image of God

Think about God’s creation. Does everything fit perfectly together? One quick glance at all of the evil on earth today could easily make one laugh at this question. Although the world doesn’t appear to fit perfectly together, God created all of mankind in His image, deserving of a life with dignity and respect. However, there are some who disagree with this statement. Many people believe that the mentally and physically disabled are only burdens, that the disabled should be aborted while still in the womb or euthanized if circumstances after birth leave them disabled. The devil is trying to disrupt God’s creation by convincing many people to believe that only “normal, healthy” people or those that don’t impose a burden on others should be allowed to enjoy life on earth. As part of God’s creation, we need to protect, help, and cherish the most vulnerable of God’s creation.

I have experienced first hand the mysteries of God’s creation, the beauty and the challenges. My older sister, Alex, was born severely physically and mentally disabled. She is totally dependent upon others for her every need. Watching my parents take care of her, I have realized how physically and emotionally demanding it is, and I do my best to help care for her. Since before I was born, home health aids have come into our home to assist in caring for my sister. Witnessing their sacrifice, I have realized that my family members are not the only ones who love Alex for who she is. These aids care about my sister, making Alex’s life more enjoyable.

Though many families today don’t have members with obvious disabilities, most would probably consider having a disabled person in their family very odd. But I think having Alex as a sister has shown me God’s love in a special way. She has shown me the love we all need to possess, the unconditional love of God and His creation. I love having Alex as a part of my family. She makes my life more joyful, whether it’s her heart-melting smile and laugh or seeing her face light up when she sees her favorite toy. Alex has shown me that one can be happy in whatever situation they are in. Her simplicity, purity, and joy come from God and remind me that sometimes we complicate God’s wonderful plan for us all, His commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”.

Spending time with Alex each day has opened me up and made me more sensitive towards all people with disabilities, physical or mental. My neighbor, Will, contracted spinal meningitis when he was an infant. Today he is ten years old, and he is physically and mentally disabled. When he comes to my house to play with my siblings, sometimes I go outside just to throw a baseball with him or sit down and play dump-trucks in the dirt. If I had not been exposed, through Alex, to this misunderstood world, I don’t know if I would be comfortable enough to just sit and play with him.

Recently, Alex’s picture was put up on a billboard with the caption, “A face created in the image of God… to respect and protect.” Alex is evangelizing just by being on that billboard. Disabled people show us that the ultimate foundation of human existence is Jesus Christ; they are humanity’s privileged witnesses. They teach us all about love that not only saves us, but makes us perfect. I know that Alex, Will, and many other disabled people will enjoy things in heaven that they could not on earth because of God’s overflowing love for them.

2007 RTL Essay

By John-Andrew O’Rourke
Grade 9

Appreciate and Defend

Aiding Persons with Disabilities

Sitting in a dimly lit room, Dr. Hancock gazed intently at the sonogram image flashing before him. As his nurse suspected, the unborn girl had Down’s syndrome. Turning somberly, he revealed the situation to the eager, first-time parents, Mr. and Mrs. Keller. Explaining that the “fetus is defective” he quietly recommended they ‘terminate the pregnancy.’

As we can see, our decidedly utilitarian culture views persons with disabilities as valueless. Since they are not capable of contributing to humanity in the way most do, they are disregarded. However, we as Christians know that since God created them in His own image and likeness, they do indeed have value and a purpose. God yearns for us to unveil that purpose.

The mentally and physically disabled are persons with immortal souls. Their ultimate destiny, like all humanity’s is to take their thrones in heaven as princes or princesses of the kingdom. However, God has also sent them to teach us some important lessons in life.

Christ said that if one wished to enter the kingdom of heaven, he must become like a child. Through persons with handicaps, we witness childlike dependence. Since they often cannot provide for themselves, they learn to rely on others. This dependence in the physical life directly relates to our own dependence in the spiritual life. We can do nothing without God. However, when we trust, He quickly comes to our aid. Then, all things are possible.

Persons with handicaps also teach us to love the gift of life for its own sake. In them, we distinguish a glimpse of life’s simplicity and its beauty, and so we learn to love it selflessly. This selfless love shows us that life is not about what others can do for us, but what we can do for others. When we help persons with handicaps by anticipating their needs or guiding them along the path to their supernatural inheritance, we discover these lessons of God.

We know that persons with disabilities have value but our society is often blind to this worth. Subsequently, it attacks persons with disabilities by euthanasia. We must take a stand in their defense. But how can we, who do not hold public office or some influential position, make a difference?

We can make an enormous difference by praying simultaneously for the perpetrators of the attack, for persons with disabilities themselves, and for their caregivers. The most powerful prayers are the Mass, the Rosary, and the offering up of our own suffering. One can never overestimate the worth of prayer and sacrifice.

Another way we protect persons with disabilities is by influencing minds. When we deliberately alter our language and refer to someone as a ‘person with a disability,’ not a ‘disabled person’ we help others see that the value of life precedes the state in life. One’s state in life does not determine his humanity. An additional tool of powerful influence is the Internet. If we pass along moving stories revealing the dignity of persons with disabilities, we instill their true image in the minds of others. A final tool of influence is our own actions. When we cherish persons with handicaps by serving them as Christ served us, with willingness and charity, we set an example that can truly win minds and hearts, because it is Christ’s own example.

Mrs. Keller turned slowly from her husband to the doctor. “Thank you,” she said, “but…abortion…is not an option. God gave us this life for a reason, and He wants us to discover that reason.”

2007 RTL Essay

By Katie Dapper
Grade 11

Live & Learn

Get good grades, work out to maintain a physically fit body, wear designer clothes, drive the fastest sports car; these are some of the standards of success in American society.  Achieving these qualities is not attainable for many people in society with physical or intellectual disabilities.  Does that mean that this percentage of the population has nothing to offer society?  The answer is a definite NO.  Physically and intellectually disabled individuals deserve protection, help and support from society because they have many life lessons to teach.

Just because a person looks or sounds different does not mean that they are not worthy of basic respect.  Most public buildings are designed to accommodate those with physical disabilities, but it is the responsibility of all Americans to be advocates for those who may not be able to speak for themselves.  One way to better understand those with special needs is to “put yourself in their shoes.”  Try to imagine what it would be like to live with a physical or intellectual disability and anticipate possible necessities.  One overwhelming challenge the physically disabled face is the high cost of medical care.  On behalf of the disabled, it is society’s responsibility to persuade lawmakers to provide assistance to those who need financial help.

Another common situation faced by the disabled is feelings of isolation because of their differences.  It is the task of society to act upon the Golden Rule and “treat others the way you would have them treat you.”  Jesus said that the greatest one is he who serves others.  The disabled provide an opportunity for society to act upon the teachings of Jesus.  By attending to the needs of others it becomes obvious that there are many more important things in life than designer clothes and expensive cars.  The rewards that come from serving others are worth more than winning the lottery.

People who live with a disability can teach many priceless lessons.  Common activities of daily living can be a struggle.  A strong character and positive attitude are necessary to make it through each day.  Those with disabilities are constant reminders that endurance and perseverance are essential in life.  It is easy to see the face of Jesus in the disabled because, through His suffering, He also exhibited those characteristics.

American society is often materialistic and overlooks core values.  God’s plan is a mystery.  The lessons taught by the disabled are key to unraveling the unknown tapestry of life.  Every human life is valuable and has a purpose in God’s plan.  It is the obligation of American society to recognize the important role of the disabled and help and cherish them at every stage of life.


2006 RTL Essay
Elizabeth Coons
Grade 7

Abortion is a rising problem in our world. Abortion isn’t just throwing away a useless thing, it’s committing murder to an unborn baby and that’s wrong. Women have abortions every twenty seconds, that’s why one in four of your peers aren’t here. Almost fifty abortions have been performed since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. If I was aborted my family would be hugely affected.

My parents would probably be affected the most because I gave given my parents more faith and hope in God. I have done this by keeping my faith and hope up during my life as we dealt with different orthopedic doctors, surgeries, and hospitals for my defective hip. It has been especially difficult through this past year, because I have been put on crutches for incredibly bad pain in my hip. I have also given my parents experience. Since I was their first baby, my parents were new at parenting. They really didn’t know what to do with me, especially with my bad hip. After what they’ve been through with me, they could raise just about any baby. I have given my parents hope, faith and experience. I am sure they are glad they had me first.

My family would miss a great role model. I am the oldest so I have to baby-sit and cook when my parents aren’t home. I am the role model for my brothers and cousins because I am the oldest child and grandchild in my family. I have given my family someone to help them and someone to look up to.

My grandpa was an alcoholic and would have probably drunk himself to death if I had not been born. My grandma did not have a daughter, so I was her first girl; she was so happy when I was born. My grandpa had tried to fix his drinking problem many times before but it never worked. When I was expected, my mom told my grandpa that he had to stop drinking or he wouldn’t be able to see me. My grandpa joined Alcoholics Anonymous and stopped drinking. I gave my grandma joy and happiness and I saved my grandpa’s life. Abortion is a rising problem in our world and it is murder. Join the fight to stop abortion for all those innocent little unborn babies. I have certainly made an impact on my parents’ and my brothers’ lives. It is a true blessing to have been given the gift of life.

Abortion is a rising problem in our world and it is murder. Join the fight to stop abortion for all those innocent little unborn babies. I have certainly made an impact on my parents’ and my brothers’ lives. It is a true blessing to have been given the gift of life.

2006 RTL Essay
Micah Lustig
Grade 8

When my mother was thirty-nine years old, she was surprised the day she went to the doctor and found out that she was pregnant with her ninth child. Before she could catch her breath, a nurse came up to her and told her that she had to take three tests to check for deformities of the fetus. This was back in 1991 and my mother was flabbergasted! She questioned the doctor and asked, “Do people really have abortion here in the city?” The doctor replied, “Oh yes, some people want only perfect children.” Abortion never entered my mother’s mind. Nine months later, at age forty, my mother gave birth to a perfect child (me) and as the doctor caught me he remarked what a miracle this was.

Being the youngest of nine is engaging, entertaining, and emerging. In a big family, there is always something going on which ends up funny, and the situation helps everyone grow in a new perspective. As the youngest, I have made such an impact on my brothers and sisters. All of us are different. I bring my own humor, love, spunk, sensitivities, and idiosyncrasies to my family. My one-liners always bring many smiles to my siblings, my athletic talents are accepted, and my constant weather reports drive everyone crazy! Nonetheless, I meet my siblings on a common ground and always try to make them laugh. “It would be hard to imagine life without him!” said my sister Rachel.

My parents are inspired by me with my laughs and my faith. Every time I laugh, they think of how that fun would not have happened if I wasn’t here. And every smile rewards them for this miracle that came to them. Also, since my bedtime was earlier than everyone else, I called everyone together for night prayer. Futhermore, I came at a time where my parents were struggling financially even to support eight children. But in my smiles and prayers, I have repaid my debt and they agree. Additionally, Ma, Pa, and Granny (my grandparents) play Euchre with me all of the time and our laughter is continuous. And it is the same way with my friends when we play basketball, Texas Hold ‘Em, or X-Box. In these circumstances, I make a huge difference in people’s lives.

At age seven, I had two nieces born to my two oldest siblings. I am closer in age to these two nieces than I am to six of my eight siblings. My sister told me that when my niece (age 3) got in the car, it was always the same jolly reaction on her face as she said, “Are we going to go see Uncle Micah?” I am always the one who is hiding in the closet when they are trying to find me during hide-and-go seek. I am now an uncle to eight nieces and two nephews! Whether I am playing in the snow with them, or swimming in the pool, I enjoy their laughter and smiles as much as they do mine.

I inspire my siblings, parents, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and friends in the most unique way. No one lese could make them laugh like I make them laugh. I am accepted in this family for who I am and for the gifts I bring. If I was not here today, like one out of four of my peers, then every single person would be different. Everybody would act differently than they do now if wasn’t for this one, unique soul. The doctor was correct; I was another one of God’s miracles.

2006 RTL Essay
By Abigail Richardson
Grade 9 & 10

“Does my life really matter? It’s not like I can change the world or anything,” teenage Abby challenged her mother.

Tenderly, her mother disagreed, “Look around you. Look behind you. Don’t you see? There are so many people you have impacted just by being born: your family, people overseas and your friends, both young and old. Wherever you have traveled, you have left behind someone warmed by your smile, heartened by your encouragement and uplifted because you cared enough to make them feel special. It’s the small, everyday acts of love that add up together, creating a life worth living.”

“From the very beginning, you have been a joy to your father and me. Even your name reflects that love that we have for you: Abigail means the source of the Father’s joy. You were your grandparents’ first grandchild, your aunt’s first niece and our firstborn. You infectious smile, ready laughter and obvious delight with the world around you lit up all our hearts. Years later, when your grandmother was sick with cancer, you helped her to have some of the best years of her life just by being with her. To your grandfathers, you represent the hope for the next generation of America. Your readiness to serve, to learn and to love inspires your younger cousins for they look up to you and admire you. Our family wouldn’t be the same without you.”

“As we traveled all over the country and then overseas, you were always willing to meet new people and make new friends. When our family served as missionaries in Romania, you became a bridge into peoples’ lives. Remember all of the friends you helped me make on walks, in the park and on bus rides? Your friendly nature helped me meet so many strangers and opened the door for me to share the love of Jesus with them. Everywhere we have lived, you’ve adopted grandparents, aunts and uncles, and been God’s instrument to let them all know how special they are. The world wouldn’t be the same without you.”

“Now as a young lady, you’ve become a very caring, servant-hearted person.  You love young children and elderly people, in nursing homes and in orphanages, at church and across the street, and make them feel that you and their Heavenly Father value them for who they really are.  Even through your respect and courtesy on the telephone, people have noticed that you care about them and a few have even jokingly offered you a job because of it.  You have made friends who you will keep for a lifetime, for you value each other for your strengths, encourage one another in hard times and seek new ways to serve together.  Your friends wouldn’t be the same without you.”

Her mother concurred, “People tend to take life for granted but, in reality, life is a gift from God. He gives each one of us a piece of Himself, and when we carelessly snuff out life we destroy his purpose and plan for that soul. Just think- if Queen Esther, Mother Teresa or Corrie Ten Boom had never been given a chance to live, thousands of people would have lost their chance to make a difference. They were just ordinary women like you, who decided to let God use them to fight for the lives of others. Life’s history would not be the same without them.”


2005 RTL Essay
By Nick Lesch
Grade 7

A Plan for All

I respond to a culture that advocates abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality, with astonishment and sorrow. Rather that losing hope, it helps me realize the presence of evil in this world and motivates me to act for the protection of all human life. I convey my pro-life beliefs more effectively by praying to God for guidance and wisdom in my actions. Doing God’s will by speaking to others about the value of human life may increase our culture’s understanding of this issue and lead to a change in hearts and minds. “Thou shalt not kill,” the fifth commandment of the Lord, is broken constantly through abortion and euthanasia. Same-sex relationships are against God’s law and the natural law because marriage is meant for a man and woman with the opportunity for pro-creation.

A person comes into being at the moment of conception. Being made in the image and likeness of God, all human life is sacred and must be respected and protected. When a baby is aborted, a human life is destroyed. With nearly 4,000 abortions every day, over 45,000,000 abortions have been performed in the U.S. alone. In the case of an abortion, the child’s parents are causing the death of another human being willingly. Abortions corrupt the society by killing innocent lives and by leading people away from God’s truth.

Euthanasia, when the doctor intentionally terminates a patient’s life, is increasing in our world. The recent death of Terri Schiavo is an example of the conflicts, pain, and sorrow that euthanasia can cause. Some people say that terminating the lives of those with problems is “mercy killing” and that the person is not supposed to live that way. However, God has a plan for everyone and everyone was made in God’s image. Pope John Paul II showed us that life, even when subjected to disease or old age, was worthy of dignity. A Dutch government study in the Netherlands showed that of 130,000 annual deaths, 25,306 (20%) involved euthanasia. Of all the euthanasia cases, 58% were involuntary. Euthanasia corrupts the society by killing innocent lives and by undervaluing God’s gift of life.

Marriage is a holy covenant between a man, a woman, and God, that should be taken seriously and not abused. The entertainment today and most of the news media openly promote shows with relations between people of the same sex through T.V. shows, movies, and news. This can have a very bad influence on the people who watch these shows especially the young and innocent. Homosexuality closes the door to the gift of life. Same-sex relationships corrupt the society by breaking and making impure the covenant of marriage.

Responding positively to a culture that openly supports abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality can be difficult. It is only through the grace of God that one may achieve an encouraging outcome. When I heard about Terri Schiavo’s life threat, I immediately contacted President Bush and his brother Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, through e-mail, urging them to save her life. My family prayed each day in hope of an intervention to stop the killing of Terri Schiavo. I tried to let others know what was going on and to influence them to act. The media strengthens the evil effects of abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality. Everyone, from the moment of conception until natural death, is a child of God and worthy of life as God has a plan for all persons. Our greatest hope of happiness lies in living the fullness of God’s truth concerning life.

2005 RTL Essay
Caroline Fitzgerald
Grade 8

Never Give Up the Fight

It is everywhere. Media is constantly trying to persuade us. It is our responsibility to counter media messages in which wrong things are portrayed as right. By rejecting the things that are false, praying for a change, becoming educated on life issues, and encouraging media that supports life, we encourage others to respond in a pro-life way.

The most important action to take is discerning and acting on the morality of media. If we turn on the television or radio, or open a magazine and hear or see something wrong, we need to immediately turn it off or put it down. It is a choice. When we take in false media, we might be subtly influenced in thinking wrong is right. We should also stop ourselves from buying products advertised in these circumstances. By not supporting the advertisers we make a statement that we do not accept the false media. When we stand strong in our faith, we not only protect ourselves from falling into worldly sin, but also support others in making a stand.

This support is often demonstrated in prayer, as we are called to pray for conversions. We can pray as individuals, in small groups, or we can participate in large groups. As individuals we offer our personal prayers for life to God. In small groups we are able to hear about pro-life concerns held by others. Church, school, friends, or families are good places to look for a small group. By participating in large groups, such as the Right to Life March in Washington D.C. or Life Chain, we are encouraged to continue our fight by the volume of people concerned for life. Prayer is one of the most powerful actions we can take in our effort for life, because prayer unites us with God, who increases our understanding of life.

As an individual we are called to be educated about pro-life activities and issues. It heightens our awareness and response. When we become personally informed we can support actions that bring life and oppose those that do not. By sharing our personal pro-life beliefs and sending this message out into the public, through the media, we bring hope to our culture.

Though there are many challenges in the media and the world today, we need to promote media, which supports life. Using different media effectively enables us to distribute pro-life information to a greater variety of people. The American Family Association sends out e-mails about the abuse of life in media and encourages people to contact their government officials, while the National Catholic Register highlights life issues from around the world. Focus on the Family predominately informs people concerning life issues via their daily radio program. Taking the time to search, find, and support good media resources will maximize our knowledge and unite our efforts.

By rejecting false media, praying for it, becoming informed, and supporting positive media, we become stronger, and the pro-life message becomes stronger. We should always be encouraging others to join the fight, and we must never give up ourselves.

2005 RTL Essay
By Emily
Grade 9 & 10

Defenders of Life

The value of life is something our culture has thrown away. In our self-centered society we have lost sight of what really matters by allowing life to be so easily destroyed by abortion or ended in the name of science. Our past inaction has forced us to deal with those that accept and advocate abortion, euthanasia, cloning, fetal stem cell research, and same sex marriage. We must respond to our culture as soldiers for life. Decisiveness, compassion, devotion, and high moral conviction characterize a soldier for life.

Above all, a soldier in any situation must portray decisiveness. He must assess danger and remove it. His life depends on his swift and accurate action. The lives of young and old depend on our ability to act without delay. Our hesitation to stand for life in the face of opposition has caused lives to be lost. We have allowed indecision to weaken our stand for life. We must recognize the lies of those who oppose life, in order to help save it. We must take our stand for life now. Hesitation is costly.

In addition to being decisive, a soldier must be compassionate toward those he defends. We must demonstrate compassion for the helpless that are being robbed of life before even drawing a breath, and the young mothers that face difficult decisions. A soldier defends his country because he loves her. So we must defend life. We must take a bold stand for the lives of the unborn because they cannot. As a Christian, I must do so because I have been called to defend life as a tenderhearted soldier of the cross.

Though a soldier is decisive and compassionate, a true soldier serves because he is devoted to his cause. Soldiers must take up arms to fight for life, not with weapons of violence but with those of change. We must do the same for life because it is our duty. God has given life to us as a gift. We must do all we can to preserve it. We need to live our lives in a fashion that show our society a better way: life.

Ultimately, along with decisiveness, compassion, and devotion, a soldier must possess high moral conviction. Moral conviction must be ingrained within him, or all he has sacrificed for is futile. Possession of moral conviction will enable him to choose to right over wrong, and life over death. A soldier that has high moral convictions is self- sacrificial. He puts the needs of others above his own by putting himself in the line of fire to protect them. We must be willing to sacrifice our time and abilities to save lives. We must put ourselves in the line of fire for them. This may cost us.

In a culture that has lost all regard for life, we must respond as soldiers for life by being decisive, compassionate, devoted, and led by moral conviction. Demonstrating these characteristics in the defense of life is uncommon. As a Christian, I must hold myself to at higher standard. This standard includes loving life, defending it, and responding positively to my culture. To do this I must take up my cross and follow Jesus Christ knowing that He gave His life that I might have life and preserve it for others.


2004 RTL Essay
Danielle Hansen
Grade 7th & 8th

A Life Well Lived

Today in our society many people have grown accustomed to practices that have ruined their lives and the lives of those around them. These destructive practices include divorce, abortion, euthanasia, drug use and suicide. In order to reverse this culture of death in our society, we must first reach out to others, embrace the sanctity of human life and mend the family unit.

Today our culture has a distorted outlook on life and has made it acceptable to focus solely on themselves. As a result of this view, teen suicide rates have tripled in the past three years. This year, more than 700,000 American teen-agers will attempt suicide. This not only destroys their own life, but also adversely affects the lives of other around them. If members of our society would practice the words given in James 1:27 and look after those who are in need, it could change their lives forever. We should hold firm and live transformed lives, and reject the views of the media, which promotes selfish desires and personal needs.

Another way we can reverse our culture of death is to embrace the sanctity of human life. If this occurred, the rates for drug use, abortion and suicide would dramatically decrease. A baby is aborted every 20 seconds. Many times, this is a result of women refusing to face the consequences of their poor decisions. Thus, they ignore the sanctity of human life given as a gift by our heavenly Father. If we reach out and help them in their traumatic situation and help give them hope, this could possibly help save someone who could grow up to live a meaningful life that would bring praise, glory and honor to God.

The last way we could reverse this culture of death is to mend the family unit. It is important that we look for ways to reverse the trend of families breaking up through divorce. We could do this by investing more time with each other. By simply sitting down to dinner once a week and taking time to talk to one another, we would develop closer relationships between members of the family. The more the family spends time with each other, the stronger the relationship would be.

People have become more self-centered and unwilling to help those in need. In order to reverse this culture of death in our society, we must first reach out to others, embrace the sanctity of human life and mend the family unit. You could make a dramatic change in someone’s life today if you just make a few adjustments to your daily routine. Propose in your heart to put into practice the words of Philippians 2:4: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

2004 RTL Essay
By Munir Sayegh
Grade 9 & 10

The Tears of the Soul

“…People killin’, people dyin’, children hurt and ya hear them cryin’, can you practice what you preach, and would you turn the other cheek? Father, Father, Father, help us send some guidance from above ’cause people got me, got me questioning – Where is the love?”

This song, “Where is the Love,” by Black Eyed Peas is the summary of what the youth of America are contemplating. I believe that the only way to change this “culture of death” is to enlighten the new generation about corruption on the television, the sanctity of life and America’s preoccupation with happiness.

First of all, there is too much advertisement of why having drugs, violence and sex in our lives is admirable. Some shows are more oriented to this new trend than others. “MTV lacks any redeeming social value. Many of its [programming] shows glorified alcohol and sex.” Does MTV give anything back to the society it pollutes?” (Meredith U.). If the youth keep seeing these corrupt actions and their peers agreeing with it, they will assume that it is acceptable. It is a necessity for this culture to prevent the youth in America from seeing these shows. Parents and teachers need to show their disapproval of these shows and the ethics on them. The youth of this nation must be told of the lasting effects that these bad decisions that they see on TV could have on their lives.

Secondly, the sanctity of life is a significant element in changing this culture of death. Peggy Noonan states that, “Is it too much to see a connection between the abortion culture in which these young people came of age and the moral dullness they are accused of displaying? (A35) Abortion creates an “environment of death.” When the youth hear of statistics like, since 1967 there have been 38 million surgical abortions in the United States (Abortion, par. 1), doing drugs or drinking seems so insignificant. If the adults of America approve of abortion then the youth will continue with equal or greater offenses. If we educate more people on the effects of abortion, then maybe more people will realize how outwardly immoral it is.

Finally, another change America needs to make is our preoccupation with happiness. According to the Orthodox Christian Church and Society, “Individual happiness as well as the community must be observed. If this balance is not respected, many social contradictions arise. We strive to achieve happiness without realizing that it is ‘our’ happiness, not ‘mine'” (par. 2). We must stop this inclination of self-centeredness by encouraging the youth to embrace community service projects and by showing them the true meaning of “helping others” in our lifestyle. We also need to get the youth involved in short-term mission trips to show them that there are a lot of people worse off than us. It makes our “wants or happiness” seem so insignificant.

If we want to stop this culture of death, we must advise the new generation about corruption on the television, the sanctity of life and America’s preoccupation with happiness. Remember the song “Where is the Love” and know that there are little sparks of resistance to this awful tendency , like people protesting against abortion, churches assisting the youth with their moral decisions, and shelters giving poor people help. The most important thing we can do is to show how this culture of death is hurting our future. We need to set a moral and ethical example for everyone, regardless his/her age, religion, nationality or race. The spark is there; all it needs is people to give it fuel.


Submitted by April Munsell of Suburban Baptist School (Grades 9th and 10th division)

Abortion (The Unborn’s Right to Life)

Our society perceives abortion as a mere convenience rather that a detriment to our culture. The right to live is not something we had to earn, but rather a God-given right that can only be “God-taken.” Some people, however, believe that they are doing right by committing or supporting abortions in the name of “choice.” They believe that the mother carrying the baby in her womb should have the choice of taking the life of this innocent, unborn child, or conceiving him or her even if they are not able to provide the best living conditions or environment. I believe our society must be more compassionate and caring in its treatment of the unborn in the midst of a culture of death that measures the worth of an individual strictly by utilitarian standards.

We should not base our decisions of whether a person should live or die on their usefulness to society. Many people question the significance of a child in the womb. They say they are not really human beings since they are not yet born, but each individual has a mind, body, and a soul of their own. No one person is born without a soul. Therefore, they are all human beings and deserve the right to live. They are indeed useful and very important to our society. By killing these unborn babies we are killing our future scientists, war heroes, and even our future presidents. This, in reality, is going against the utilitarian views in that they are destroying infants with the potential of benefiting our society greatly.

One way our society can become more compassionate and caring in the area of the unborn is to allow adoption as an alternative to death. Each year thousands of infants are killed for another person’s convenience. These people are not only hurting the unborn child by doing this, but also society. Many couples suffer because of the lack of fertility and would do almost anything for a child of their own, even if the baby is less than perfect. By allowing these babies to be put up for adoption, it enables couples to fulfill their longing for a child. Adoption is one way to ease the pain, lessen one’s guilt, and add to another’s joy.

Secondly, people in our society can take actin by making their voices heard in the political world. Being aware and knowledgeable of what is going on in the world of abortion is vital when taking a stand. We should have a desire to correct the corruption and not look away or ignore it. Lies were the basis for abortion and why it became legal, but by confronting these lies with the truth, the truth is sure to overcome with God’s help. We must strive to make our voices heard and to inform our culture of the severe damage done to the unborn due to the appalling actions of pro-abortion believers.

By being an active participant in allowing adoption as an alternative for death, and taking a stand in the political world, we can help our society become more compassionate and caring in the treatment of the unborn. It was never God’s plan for death to reign so prevalently as it does in our society today. We have a chance to change these utilitarian standards, so let us jump at the chance. We live in an amoral society who has almost abandoned its ethics completely, but just as one stream of light illuminates the darkness, each individual is a step towards unveiling the corruption occurring in today’s culture.

Congratulations to our Right to Life Speech Contest Winners!

1. Grace Murrell – Homeschool

2. Rayna Onate – Cathedral High School

3. David Kurzendoerfer – Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School

4. Emma Faulkner – Cathedral High School

Past Speech Contest Winners


1. Samantha Koval – Homeschool

2. David Kurzendoerfer – Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School


1. Teresa Heckman – Cathedral High School

2. Jill Koval – Homeschool


1st Place: Rynelle Castellino, Cathedral High School

2nd Place: Jill Koval, Homeschool3rd Place: Johannah Shank, Homeschool4th Place: Isabella Penola, Homeschool5th Place: Benjamin Lewandowski, Homeschool


1st Place:  Rynelle Castellino, Grade 10 — Cathedral High School

2nd Place:  Cole Smith, Grade 12 — Cornerstone Academy

3rd Place:  Christina Thibodeau, Grade 10 — Lutheran High School

4th Place:  Mary Glowner, Grade 10 — Cathedral High School

5th Place: Sarah Zimmerman, Grade 12 — Bishop Chatard High School


1st Place:  Ross Smith, Home School

2nd Place:  Rachel Solomito, Home School

3rd Place:  Kasey Martindale, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School


1st Place: Johanna Richardson, Academy of Lifelong Learning

2nd Place: Ross Smith, Cornerstone Academy

3rd Place: Carly Burkholder, Home School

4th Place:  Rachel Solomito, Home School

5th Place:  Kasey Martindale, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
2011 Speech Winners.jpg


1st place:  Ross Smith, Grade 10
Cornerstone Academy, Heritage Homebuilders

2nd place:  Taylor Whittier, Grade 11

3rd place:  Richard Rainwater, Grade 12
Heritage Christian School

4th place:  Pandu Putra, Grade 11
Zionsville Community High School

Because this year’s winner was a tenth grader, and only 11th and 12th graders are eligible to compete at the state level, the 2nd place winner, Taylor Whittier, will represent Right to Life of Indianapolis at the Indiana Right to Life State Speech Contest..

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From left:  Ross Smith, Taylor Whittier, Richard Rainwater, Pandu Putra.


Right to Life of Indianapolis Oratory Contest
April 18, 2009


1st Place:   Kimberly Lowery (10th grade)
2nd Place: Abigail Richardson
3rd Place:  Richard Rainwater
4th Place:  Maureen Collins
5th Place:  Spenser Johnson

 (From left) Spenser Johnson, Abigail Richardson, Kimberly Lowery, Maureen Collins, Richard Rainwater) .

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1st Place:    Kimberly Lowery (right)

2nd Place: Abigail Richardson (left)

Abigail went on to compete in the Indiana State Right to Life Oratory Convest since only 11th and 12th grade students are allowed to advance. She took second place in the state competition.  Because the first place winner was unable to compete, Abigail advanced to the National Right to Life Oratory Contest.


Right to Life of Indianapolis Oratory Contest
April 19, 2008

2008 Speech winners.jpg

1st Place:  Abigail Maurer – Home Educated student (right)
2nd PlaceSpencer Johnsen – Bishop Chatard High School (left)
3rd Place:  Joy Studdard – Covenant Christian High School (middle)


Results of Indiana Right to Life 2007 State Speech Contest

Robbie Steiner III, from Floyds Knob, was the 1st place winner of the Indiana Right to Life Oratory Contest. He won an all expense paid trip to Kansas City, Missouri on June 15-16, 2007 for the National Right to Life Convention and Oratory Contest. Rebekah Long from Indianapolis was 2nd place winner with a prize of $150. The 3rd place winner, Ian Hauer, from Newburg, received a $100 prize. Candice Tripp, from Griffith, placed 4th and was awarded $50. The high school juniors and senior contestants qualified for the state oratory contest by placing first in their local competition.

They had to write an original speech on abortion, infanticide or euthanasia, or stem cell research that was five to seven minutes in length. Students were encouraged to use up-to-date factual information in the construction of their speeches. The state contest was held Saturday, March 10 at Cathedral High School. Judges for the competition were the principal of Cathedral High School, David Worland, Mary Rose Collins, former Intelligence Training Officer for the CIA and teacher at Lumen Christi Catholic school, and Bob Collins, director of executive communications for WellPoint, Inc and former senior editor for Hudson Institute.


Two Speech Contests were held in 2006. Thanks to all the participants and their supporting institutions.

2006 Right to Life of Indianapolis Oratory Contest
April 22, 2006

1st Place: Sarah Pottratz- Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory
2nd Place: James D. Allen- Warren Central High School
3rd place: Rebekah Ann Long- home-educated student
4th place: Jeogki Lim- Covenant Christian High School
5th place: Antigone Fleck- a home-educated student.

2006 Right to Life of Indianapolis Oratory Contest
October 21, 2006

1st Place:
 Rebekah Ann Long- homeschool (right)
2nd Place: Jordon Fisher, Covenant Christian High School (middle)
3rd place: Mark Wasky, Cathedral High School (left)

The high school juniors and seniors who participated in the Oratory Contest had to write an original speech on abortion, infanticide or euthanasia, or stem cell research that was five to seven minutes in length. Students were encouraged to use up-to-date factual information in the construction of their speeches.


1st place: Michael Falls – Warren Central HS
2nd place: Brittany Barcus – Calvary Christian HS
3rd place: Jonathan Mance – Lawrence North HS
4th place: Peter Owens – Covenant Christian HS
5th place: Hannah Essink – A.A.R.R.O.W. Speech Class

A very special congratulations goes to our very own 2005 first place winner, Michael Falls. Michael placed third in the national contest held on June 18th, 2005 in Minneapolis! It is a testament, not only to Michael’s outstanding oratory skills, but also to his pro-life passion, that his performance rated at the top of thousands of other talented speeches. Michael is pictured here with Cathy Price, Right to Life of Indianapolis’ oratory contest chairwoman. Congrats Michael!

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Congratulations to our Right to Life Art Contest Winners!

1. Mary Carmen Zakrajsek – Carmel High School

2. Rachel Knierman – Roncalli High School

3. Abigail Hickman – Central Christian Academy

4. Renee Branson – Bishop Chatard High School

5. Hannah Brinker – Roncalli High School

Past Art Contest Winners


1. Rachel Knierman – Roncalli High School

2. Mary Carmen Zakrajsek – Carmel High School

3. Kathryn Witsaman – Roncalli High School

4. Grace Murrell – Homeschool


1. Sam Holloway – Carmel High School

2. Riley Hanagan – Homeschool

3. Rachel Kneirman – Roncalli High School

4. Cassandra Rennard – Carmel High School

5. Kate Orr – Homeschool


1st Place:  Nina Perr, Roncalli High School 

2nd Place: Jane Koval, Homeschool

3rd Place: Sarah Beard, St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church

4th Place: Alison Breeze, Carmel High School

5th Place: Julia Kane, North Central High School


1st Place:  Claire Murphy, Cathedral High School 

2nd Place:  Francisca Figueroa, Carmel High School

3rd Place:  Kate Orr, Lyceum Academy (Home School)

4th Place: Julia Kane, North Central High School

5th Place: Conner ReaganCovenant Christian High School


1st Place:  Brittany Kaelin
St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School

2nd Place:  Conner Reagan – Covenant Christian High School

3rd Place:  Alicia Cintas – St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School

4th Place: Sam Newkirk – Bishop Chatard High School

5th Place: Gabrielle O’Rourke – Holy Family Academy


1st Place:  Anna Bielawski – Cathedral High School

Anna is 18 years old and a recent graduate of Cathedral High School. She will study at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City to earn a degree in production management for the fashion industry. Anna said this about the inspiration for her winning art:

“I came up with my piece of the babies in front of the fire based on a theme I was using to create a portfolio for my college applications. My theme was ‘the fragility of life.’ I thought, ‘What is more fragile than a baby?’ Then I was thinking of the most dangerous ways a baby could be harmed…that’s when I landed on abortion! I wanted to show the babies in front of the fire, rather than in the flames, because I wanted to get the idea across that those babies could be saved, and abortion is not the answer to any situation. The more babies I could fit onto my canvas, the better…it happens all too often. I am a big pro-life advocate, and killing a life is never—and never will be—the right solution.”

2nd Place:  Sarah Stubbs – Carmel High School

3rd Place:  Joe St. Claire – Carmel High School

4th Place:  Kaitlyn Kennedy – St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School

5th Place:  Gabrielle O’Rourke – Holy Family Academy


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1st Place – Connnor Lynch
Carmel High School


2nd Place – Kaylee James
Carmel High School Teens for Life

3rd Place – Elissa Jarrett
Jarrett Homeschool

4th Place – Alyssa Overton
Agape Christian Homeschool

5th Place – Erin Reed
Northpoint Homeschool


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1st Place – LaNisha Jackson-Miller
Arlington High School


2nd Place – Alice Shen
Carmel High School

3rd Place – Alyssa Overton
Agape Christian School

4th Place – Megan Sangl
St. Malachy Catholic Church

5th Place – Katie Ruesch
The Summit Academy


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1st Place: Olivia Scheidler
Cathedral High School


2nd Place:  Alyssa Overton, White River Home Educators
3rd Place: Leah Gilbert, Bishop Chatard High School
4th Place: James Schafer, Bishop Chatard High School
5th Place: Emily Oskay, 


  • Melissa DeCapua from Cathedral High School was the 2007 Art Contest Winner.
  • Her drawing graced the front of the Celebrate Life Dinner 2007 Program.
    2007-Winning-Artwork.jpg Melissa-Decapua.jpg

For more information, see your teacher or contact the Right to Life of Indianapolis office at 317-582-1526 or email the Right to Life office at