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Dubai Student Shortlisted for Oxford-Princeton Essay Contest

Dunecrest American School is proud to announce that Maya El-Chal, an IBDP candidate at the school, has been shortlisted for the prestigious John Locke Institute 2020 Essay competition. Ms. El-Chal competed with almost 3,000 applicants from around the world; professors from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago adjudicated the competition.

The John Locke Institute is an independent educational organization that runs various residential courses, revision seminars, essay competitions and events for exceptional students in Oxford, Princeton and Washington D.C..  It aims to “inspire students to aim high and equip them with the skills they need to achieve their goals”. Revered as the grandfather of Classical Liberalism, John Locke is a 17th century Oxford philosopher, political scientist, economist and medical doctor who carried tremendous influence in both the United States and his birthplace, England. The institute aims to honor its patron’s philosophy of education: a teacher “should remember that their business is not so much to teach all that is knowable, as to raise in [the student] a love and esteem of knowledge; and to put them in the right way of knowing and improving themselves”.

Attaining the honor in the history category, Ms. El-Chal’s essay was about whether or not a state’s strength is a prerequisite or an obstacle for economic growth. Ms. El-Chal included several case studies from past governments as well as current global issues. Countries specifically highlighted within the essay included Lebanon, Japan, the Maldives, and Nigeria. 

Ms. El-Chal notes, ‘It feels so encouraging to have highly educated individuals look at my work and see potential. All through my life, I have pushed to be the best version of myself, whether through my education or as an overall person. It was not until this year I could truly see my efforts paying off. Getting shortlisted has made me more determined to keep seeking external opportunities and make my mark in the world’.

‘Ms. El-Chal’s recent success demonstrates Dunecrest’s educational philosophy beautifully and we are incredibly proud to watch her flourish on a global stage.   We are also fortunate to have exceptional teachers who share John Locke’s philosophy such as Mr. Daniel Cruz, Ms. El-Chal’s Global Politics teacher, who provides guidance and shares his expertise with his students. These mentors and advisors help our students achieve their goals,’ said Bill Delbrugge, Director at Dunecrest American School.  

Much like John Locke himself, Ms. El-Chal has extensive interests and is currently focused on pursuing a career in medicine. She aspires to attend Johns Hopkins University’s prestigious pre-med program in 2021. Dunecrest American School provides an exceptional American and IBDP education that focuses on the whole child by nurturing their talents, their passions and encouraging students to make a positive impact on the world around them.  

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To see the Essay Competition 2020 Shortlist click here