Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS Awards High School Essay Contest Recipients


For the past five years Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS has invited high school students from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties to participate in an essay contest, with a property rights or real estate related theme.   For 2017, the essay theme was the Fair Housing Act and its effect on discrimination in rentals and homeownership.  First place was awarded to Tristan Atwell; second place, Ben Morris and third place, Will Rieck.  Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS was excited to receive 17 essays this year and thanks the teachers who encouraged their students to participate.

“This year’s goal was to get the younger generation to begin thinking about housing and how it has evolved over the years for different groups, noted Martha Witte Suss, MSBR President. As REALTORS, we believe in high standards of fair housing; as indicated by the REALTOR Code of Ethics.  This year’s theme allowed the students to understand that housing opportunities were not always equal.”

Pictured are Cheryl Krebeck, MSBR Fair & Affordable Housing Co-Chair, Ben Morris, second-place recipient; Tristan Atwell, first-place recipient; Will Rieck, the third-place recipient and Martha Witte Suss, MSBR President.

Receiving the highest score from the judges and a check for $500.00 was Tristan Atwell, a 9th grader at Easton High School.  His essay entitled, “Housing and the American Dream” noted how the Fair Housing Act changed home ownership, integrated communities, giving all people the ability to invest in their future through the purchase of real estate.   Tristan is on the lacrosse, soccer and wrestling teams, is a freshman in the Student Government Assoc. and has volunteered with Hospice and the VFW.  His parents are Ryan and Julieann Atwell.

Ben Morris, a 9th grader at St. Michaels High School was the second-place recipient and received a check for $200.00.  His essay entitled, “The Fair Housing Act Effective/Ineffective?” discusses that there is still work to be done to insure fair housing for everyone. Ben is on the J.V. baseball team for St. Michaels, on a travel ball team.  Ben has volunteered at the Pines and his parents are Jeff and Kerrie Morris.

Will Rieck, the third-place recipient received $100.00 for his essay titled; “The Fair Housing Act: Extending the American Dream to All”. This essay documents the history of the fair housing act and its notes its implications.

Will is a senior from St. Michaels High School and is on the varsity team for golf and tennis.  He tutors math and volunteers with Destination Imagination. Rieck will be attending University of Michigan this fall, his parents are Harry and Sharon Rieck.

The judging was done by independent community members. Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS thanks them for their time and participation. Judging the 17 essays were:  Dr. Theresa Stafford, Retired School Teacher and Supervisor of College and Career Readiness; Holly Gilpin, Director of Human Resources, Hyatt Regency-Chesapeake Bay; Patti McMahon, Victim Witness Coordinator, Dorchester County State’s Attorney’s Office; Tamu Davis, Literacy Specialist, Hurlock Elementary School and Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor Cambridge/Dorchester County.

The Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® is comprised of over 480 REALTORS® and affiliates from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties. The mission of the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® (MSBR) is to advocate for its members and the public to preserve the right to own, transfer and utilize real property. MSBR provides its members with resources to conduct business professionally in accordance with the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

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