FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth Central High School junior, Miyang Tamanji, recently won the Young Georgia Authors contest. The competition is for students from grades K-12 and is intended to encourage students to develop and enjoy their writing.
Tamanji is a part of the STEM academy, and some of her hobbies include reading, horseback riding, tennis, cross fit, soccer, and traveling. She hopes to study computer programming or business administration in an academically challenging university, such as Georgia Tech. She would also like to minor in Spanish because she says she appreciates the language and Spanish-speaking countries.
As a sophomore, her Honors Literature teacher, Michele Dugan, gave her class an assignment to write on a controversial topic they were passionate about. It had to be turned into a narrative story, and they only had 14 minutes to write the essay. She decided to write her story on the pressure people of color feel when living in a predominately white area.
Living in a predominately white county and being the only African American girl in her STEM class, Tamanji wanted her classmates to hear her story.
“It took a long time to appreciate my culture and where I am from. Even now, I am still struggling, but I am becoming more confident especially with the strong influences from my family,” Tamanji said.
Dugan called Tamanji in a few days later to tell her that she wanted to submit her essay for the competition. Out of thousands of submissions, Tamanji’s story was chosen for the 10th grade Young Georgia Authors competition.
“I never imagined that I would win the school, county, region and then state,” Tamanji said. “Then to win first place out of all the other 12 participants who won state is indescribable. It helped boost my self-confidence and my ability to be an excellent writer and student as long as I can be patient, concentrate and work hard.”