Jonas Maestro, a sixth-grader at St. Theresa School, received the Oahu Grand Prize on May 6 in the 12th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest. Hundreds attended the event at Ala Moana Park’s McCoy Pavilion, during which students received recognition for their poetry. More than 800 Oahu students participated in the competition, organized by the International Peace Poem Project, a nongovernmental organization of volunteers, including teachers and artists. Jonas, whose poem was titled "Peace," was awarded an Italian glass sculpture by Maui artist Elan Vital. His poem envisions a world where "Peace flows like a mighty stream/wars would be stopped/All wounds would heal/And the weapons would be dropped."
Oahu winners were provided with certificates of commendation from Mayor Peter Carlisle, and Douglas Chin, city managing director, presented the Oahu Grand Prize. The competition honors King, the civil rights leader, who promoted nonviolent means to achieve social change.