Runnels School seventh-grader Reed Stewart and 10th-grader Jena Bordelon won first place in their age divisions in the 2015 Holocaust Memorial Essay Contest.

The annual competition was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge and The Advocate, a news release said.

In addition, Runnels students Madison Sutton, eighth-grade, placed second in the middle school division and Jeehan Mikdadi, 10th-grade, placed third in the high school division. Out of a field of nine finalists in the essay competition, four attend Runnels, the release said.

For this year’s contest, participants were offered the opportunity to write about making decisions that not only affect themselves, but those around them.

Winners were announced April 19 at a Holocaust Memorial Program held at Congregation B’nai Israel.

Each first-place winner was awarded a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble and $50 in cash. Participants earning second- and third-place recognition received $35 gift cards to Barnes and Noble and $35 and $25 in cash, respectively.

Runnels students wrote their essays as assignments in English class, the release said.

Their compositions were submitted by junior high teachers Sherry Wilks and Kylie Harbin and high school teacher Colleen LeBlanc.