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East Arkansas Youth Consortium Member Selected as MTV Essay Contest Winner

Wynne, AR – Princella Smith, a junior at Ouachita University and a charter member of MSDI’s East Arkansas Youth Consortium, has been chosen as the first-place winner in MTV’s Choose or Lose Stand Up and Holla! essay contest out of over 1,000 entries.

In her essay, Smith urges her peers to be a part of what she calls “Generation X-ample.” She calls for more youth involvement in after-school programs, to get involved with church-sponsored events, and to engage in charity.

During her interview with MTV, Smith credited growing up in rural Arkansas with giving her a “great sense of community and a sense [that] community service is a way of life,” and Smith said she feels that activism on behalf of young people is important because “with society changing, there is more for kids to get into, such as violence and drugs.”

As her reward for authoring the winning entry, Smith received the opportunity to fly to New York and read her essay at the Republican National Convention. Disney plans to produce a documentary on her, beginning with her preparations for the convention and ending as she goes back to college. The documentary will also feature her family and support system in Wynne, Arkansas.

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