Sophie Gray Wins MLK Jr. Essay Contest

The best part of being a child is having the ability to dream and see the best for the future. Sophie Gray, a 14-year-old Carver Middle School student, turned her ability to dream into a winning essay for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day “I Have A Dream” essay contest. Sophie was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s message to be the best person you can be under any circumstance.

Tulsakidsophie EditTK: How did you hear about the MLK “I Have A Dream” essay contest?

Sophie: I heard about the contest from my Advanced English teacher, Mrs. Manuel.

TK: What inspired your essay?

Sophie: My essay was inspired by Dr.King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In my essay, I quoted from his speech multiple times. Dr. King’s legacy inspires me because what he fought so hard for never happened until he was gone.

TK: How does Dr. Martin Luther King inspire you?

Sophie: Dr. King inspires me to be the best person I can be under any circumstance. He demonstrated his selflessness with his willingness to speak last at the March on Washington, which challenges me to do my best in any situation.

TK: Who else inspires you?

Sophie: My Advanced English and science teachers, Mrs. Manuel and Mr. Chalifoux, who support me. Also my family inspires me. They have all done good things in their lives, and I want to be just like them.

TK: Where is your favorite place in Tulsa to get writing inspiration?

Sophie: I draw inspiration from being outside. Whether it’s playing in parks or going for a walk along the river, being surrounded by nature gives me time to reflect and think. Our family loves finding wildlife on our walks and drives, and in just the last week I have seen deer, bald eagles, turtles, pelicans and lots of other inspiring creatures.

TK: What advice do you have for other children who want to follow your path?

Sophie: I would encourage other children to pursue their interests, no matter what they are. Your interests can take you wonderful places — they have for me!

TK: Dr. King left an important legacy that we honor today. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?

Sophie: One that will inspire people to do what they love, or to simply try something new.

TK: What do you want to do when you get older?

Sophie: When I am older, I hope to become a marine biologist because I have always been fascinated by fish and other marine creatures. I got a new fish tank for Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited!

TK: What other hobbies do you have?

Sophie: In my free time I like to bake sweet treats, play my flute, swim with my swim team and play chess.

TK: What is a fun fact about you? 

Sophie: I have a twin sister, and we are both fluently bilingual in Spanish and English!

Read Sophie’s winning essay at

March 2022 Tulsakid Pin

Categories: Tweens & Teens