Mason Hooper, a senior at Portage High School, was awarded First Place in the Indiana State Library 2014 Level 3 “Letters about Literature Competition.” The annual competition is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Indiana Center for the Book and the James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation.
Students wrote letters to authors, living or dead, to explain how that author's writing impacted the student's life. Over 1000 letters were submitted by students in grades 4 - 12. Hooper's letter was selected as the best in Level 3, for students in grades 9 - 12. He wrote to Ché Guevara, author of The Motorcycle Diaries, explaining how Guevara's passion for people and hatred of injustice inspired Hooper to study medicine and dedicate his own life to helping impoverished people get the orthotics and protheses they need to live full lives.
Hooper was accompanied to the awards ceremony by his parents, Cari and David Hooper, as well as his speech coach, PHS teacher Stacy Bachman. Bachman sponsored Hooper in the contest.