Round 1 Winners of Global Youth’s 2022 Comment & Win Contest Honor Humanity, Social Awareness and Connection

by Diana Drake

Growth, opportunity and thoughtful reflection. These themes are defining life for today’s youth as we all emerge bruised and hopeful from the global pandemic – and they set the tone for Round 1 of the 2022 Wharton Global Youth Comment & Win competition for high school students.

We’re not gonna lie. Reading the more than 80 comments that students from around the world left on our Global Youth articles from June 6 to June 17, 2022 was a growth opportunity for our Comment & Win team.

You embraced the Round 1 “Anything Goes” directive, analyzing and opining on everything from anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City to the Korean “K-Wave” in entertainment (Parasite, Squid Games and BTS!) and a “Beatle-maniac dad,” with a serving of cryptocurrency and Singapore “Gentle Monster” fashion brand abstract art installations thrown in. Your comments were rich with humanity, social awareness and courage to question the status quo with the analysis and purpose of emerging leaders and change makers.

As Jade L. asks in her comment on A ‘Zero Generation’ American on What Shakes Him to the Core: “If the future of the world rests in the hands of future generations, and in the current Gen-Z, shouldn’t their voices be loudest and most worthy of being heard?” Indeed.

How would we sum up our task as evaluators? Tons of fun. And really challenging.

A few points before we announce the Round 1 winners. First, who knew that cities would be a commenting flashpoint? Check out the Global Youth article The Business of Urban Living for a display of diverse and deep perspectives from high school students around the world.

Second, if you are surprised not to see your comment among this round’s top winners, it’s likely because you did not reference the accompanying article. Many of you expressed your points beautifully and described meaningful personal connections, but did not draw upon the text. Students who effectively use Global Youth content to inform their comments, add value to the discussion around the text, express opinions clearly and succinctly, and develop an authentic voice, are among the strongest contenders.

Don’t forget that Round 2, with a storytelling theme, kicked off on Monday, June 20 and runs through midnight Eastern time on Friday, July 1. Visit our Comment & Win page for all the details – and share your stories with us! We can’t wait to dig in.

With that, here are the Comment & Win 2022 Round 1 Winners! Top commenters will win e-books from Wharton School Press and all winners will receive badges.

Congratulations to Kush M., a 16-year-old from the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, India, for taking top Round 1 honors. Kush’s comment on Researchers Dig into How the Pandemic Is Impacting Business weaves personal experiences helping Indian street book vendors with ideas from the article to underscore how technology is “the great equalizer.”

“I believe that the most important thing this pandemic has taught us is that technology is a great tool to achieve equity. ” -Kush M., Top Commenter, Round 1

The Round 1 First Runner-up is Justin L., 16 and a junior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, for his comment on the podcast transcript, Fostering Gender Equality in STEM. Justin’s points draw regularly from Amiya’s podcast interview, while thoughtfully incorporating his own ideas about the lack of gender equality in innovation.

Caroline X. of New York City is the Round 1 Second Runner Up for her comment on The Business of Urban Living. We appreciated Caroline’s perspective on the three tenets of the article: affordability, sustainability and equity, intertwined with her family’s experiences and her own observations on socioeconomic status.

Third Runner-up Sophia W., 15 and a student at Benjamin Cardozo in New York, offers a wonderfully fresh perspective on “connections” in her comment on the podcast transcript Tackling Social Inequality One Fresh Apple at a Time.

Eric S., a student from Michigan, is the Round 1 Fourth Runner-up with his thoughtful comment on A Data Project Explores Gun Ownership in New York City. In praising the student data analysis, Eric wisely states, “Each and every newly drawn conclusion contributes to a more holistic understanding of the bigger picture of arms violence.”

And finally, congratulations to Fifth Runner-up Sean K. for his simple, yet eloquent comment on Researchers Dig into How the Pandemic Is Impacting Business: “Life always gives us challenges, but it is the way that humans adapt that truly defines how great we can be.”

This round, we’re also highlighting Comment & Win Superlatives that stood out for their quality relating to a theme. In no particular order, here are this round’s superlative winners:

Most Eloquent Pitch for the Future of Web3: Gavin J. from Manhasset High School in New York, for his comment on Cowboy Labs Takes On the Business of Blockchain.

Most Likely to Advocate Successfully for Food Access in Cities: Vera H., a sophomore from W.B. Ray High School in Texas, U.S., for her comment on The Business of Urban Living.

Best Comment in 120 Words or Less: Jaeyi S., 15 and a rising junior from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Massachusetts, expressed on 5 Leadership Truths from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

Most Hopeful Comment: Luna W., 17 and a rising senior from Winston Churchill High School in Maryland, for her comment on Wharton Insights on the Impact and Implications of Coronavirus.

Best Use of Humor and “Spidey” Power: Ryan S., 16 and a rising junior at the Bronx High School of Science in New York, for his comment on Positive Vibes from the ‘Good Pizza’ Guy.

Most Likely to Build a Future in TransitTech: Jianyi Z., 16 and a rising junior from St. John’s School in  Texas, U.S., for her comment on The Business of Urban Living.

Best Thrifting Discovery: Genessa K., 16 and a rising senior at Townsend Harris High School in New York, for her comment on Fashionista Environmentalists Shop ‘Recommerce’.

Best Application of Leadership Lessons to His Own Life: Spencer J., 17 and a rising senior at Pingry School in New Jersey, for his comment on 5 Leadership Truths from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

Most Likely to Improve Food Security and the Quality of Agricultural Output in Hong Kong: Sunny P., 16 and a rising senior from Gunn High School in California, for his comment on The Business of Urban Living.

Excellence in Exploring Inclusivity in Hollywood: Ruosia L., 16 and a rising junior at Shanghai SMIC Private School in China, for her comment on These Trends Are Transforming Media and Entertainment.

Most Quotable Moment: Andy C., 15 and a rising sophomore at Townsend Harris School in New York, for his comment on Tackling Social Inequality One Fresh Apple at a Time.

Most Likely to Explore Space and Article Archives: Benjamin C. for his comment on 10 Signs Space Tourism Has Arrived.

Most likely to Use VR to Overcome Fears: Daniel Y., 16 and a rising junior at the Bronx High School of Science in New York, for his comment on the podcast A Virtual Reality for Nervous New Drivers.

That’s a wrap on the winners of Round 1! Don’t forget to submit your Round 2 comments by midnight on July 1, 2022. We’ll leave you with a few words from Michelle W., a high school student from Los Angeles, California, who is also studying this summer in Global Youth’s Leadership in the Business World program. From her comment on the article Wharton’s Grit Expert Discusses Making Decisions and Embracing Exploration (with a nod to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson): “It’s about drive, it’s about power. We stay hungry, we devour.” Proceed with passion.