In honor of National Hazing Prevention Week (Sept. 25-29, 2023), Hazing Prevention Network and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) again host our High School Essay Contest. The annual essay contest, is designed to encourage conversations about hazing and hazing prevention at the high school level.

2023 NFHS High School Essay Winners

High school students address hazing issues through award-winning essays

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., September 25, 2023 — When asked to share their thoughts about hazing and how to prevent it, high school students from around the country responded with powerful essays tackling the issue. Students from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Hawaii and Idaho are receiving national recognition for their essays as winners of the Hazing Prevention Network National Hazing Prevention Week High School Essay Contest sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

“Hazing prevention starts with students,” said Elliot Hopkins, Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services for NFHS. “The powerful words of these young people in support of preventing hazing and eradicating it gives us hope for progress on campuses throughout the country. They clearly understand the dangers of hazing and the serious consequences of it.”

Brandon Granger from Parkway Center City Middle College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the national first place winner with his essay “Creating Lasting Change” in which he discusses understanding the impact of hazing, promoting accountability and taking decisive action to effect lasting change. Brandon will receive a $750 cash prize for his work.

Second-place winner Cianni Lassus, also from Parkway Center City Middle College in Philadelphia, brought attention to hazing as a dangerous and degrading practice.  She will receive a $500 cash prize.

Three were recognized with honorable mention for their work and will each receive $250: Rubi Silva from Apprentice Academy in Monroe, North Carolina; Ryan Choi from Mid Pacific Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Emily Sanford from Moscow High School in Moscow, Idaho.

“The essay contest is an opportunity to empower today’s youth to share their own experiences with hazing and to use their voice to bring attention to this outdated and harmful practice,” said Todd Shelton, Hazing Prevention Network executive director. “We commend Brandon, Cianni and all the students for taking a stand against hazing and sharing their stories.”

National Hazing Prevention Week is a nationwide effort to encourage campuses, schools, organizations, and communities to engage in conversations about the dangers of hazing, the detrimental cost of the practice to society, and how to actively prevent it. National Hazing Prevention Week typically falls the last week in September (September 25-29, 2023).

This year’s entries were judged on a 500-word original essay on hazing prevention with the theme “How can I make a difference against hazing?” You can learn more about National Hazing Prevention Week and the essay contest and read the winning essays at


Brandon Granger

Parkway Center City Middle College
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Creating Lasting Change

Hazing, a harmful practice deeply ingrained in initiation rituals, has been a longstanding issue affecting institutions and organizations worldwide. Nevertheless, individuals hold the potential to bring about significant change in the fight against hazing. By grasping the consequences of hazing, fostering empathy and support, promoting accountability, and taking resolute action, we can strive to eliminate hazing and establish safer environments for all. Understanding the Impact: To make a difference against hazing, it is vital to...


Cianni Lassus

Parkway Center City Middle College
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hazing, a dangerous and degrading practice, continues to persist

Hazing, a dangerous and degrading practice, continues to persist in various institutions, affecting countless lives. In order to combat this harmful behavior, it is essential for individuals to take a stand and make a difference. In this essay, I will explore hazing and the effects it has on those who partake in it. I will be highlighting how one can effect change against hazing, highlighting the importance of education, raising awareness, and promoting accountability. Education...


Rubi Silva

Apprentice Academy
Monroe, North Carolina

Hazing is a practice that has been around for a long time

Hazing is a practice that has been around for a long time, and unfortunately, it continues to be a problem in many organizations, including schools, fraternities, and sports teams. Hazing can have serious physical and emotional consequences for its victims, and it is important for individuals to take action to prevent it from happening. So, how can you make a difference against hazing? Here are some steps you can take Educate yourself: The first step...


Ryan Choi

Mid Pacific institute
Honolulu, Hawaii

Every year, countless individuals fall victim to the horrors of hazing

Every year, countless individuals fall victim to the horrors of hazing—a dangerous and unacceptable practice that plagues our society. With an unwavering determination, I strive to make a meaningful impact through my personal efforts in standing up against the issue of hazing. Above all else, I firmly believe in the transformative power of amplifying the voices of hazing victims. By actively listening to their narratives, I gain profound insights into the harsh realities and enduring...


Emily Sanford

Moscow High School
Moscow, Idaho

Help Do Away With Hazing? Check!

Unity? Check. Problem-Solve? Check. Leadership? Check. Membership? Check. Scholarship? Check. Awareness? Check. Goals? Check. Unveil Hazing? Check. Life is filled with opportunities, no matter your age. We must cope with the high and low points of life each day. How do I cope and make a difference against hazing? By participating in Interscholastic sports and activities! It is what occurs day in and day out, not the wins and losses, that determines success. Being encouraged from...