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The Etana ‘Be Strong, Be Free’ essay competition has been extended to August 25. That’s the word from the reggae princess, who says the extension is to give persons from outside the corporate area a better chance at making the deadline. The competition, which began on July 20 and was announced on Etana’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, is being executed in conjunction with Jamaican media houses CVM TV and Jamaica Observer.

The ‘Be Strong, Be Free’ essay contest asks persons between the ages of 11-15 years of age to write a 500 word essay on the challenges they face as a student and how they plan to overcome them to become more than average.

There will be 15 winners choses, and each will be rewarded with a name-brand backpack filled with school necessities such as dictionaries, stationary and geometry sets. Winners will also be rewarded with an autographed copy of Etana’s second album, Free Expressions, and a whopping $15,000 gift voucher tenable at Kingston Bookshop.

Etana, who recently completed a 20-show European tour and is currently on the back end of a string of North American appearances, says she cannot wait to begin reading the entries, and promises that winners will be notified with enough time to make use of the prizes.

“We know that the back-to-school crunch is on, but the competition ends on August 25 and we begin judging that same evening. Winners will have their prizes by August 29 or August 30, and that’s a personal commitment,” said Etana.

The singer has been helping parents and children in and around her hometown community of August Town with back-to-school expenses for some time now, and wanted to morph that goodwill into something more meaningful that will have a wider impact. She also encouraged parents to get involved with their children and allow them to enter the competition.

Commenting about the theme of the contest, Etana remarked that “I really want our kids to start thinking about how they are going to overcome the challenges they face and how those challenges will make them stronger and better.”

The Etana ‘Be Strong, Be Free’ essay competition closes on August 25 and entries are to be dropped off at the Jamaica Observer’s head office at 40-42 ½ Beechwood Avenue, care of ‘The Be Strong, Be Free Essay Competition’.

Fans and music lovers can keep in touch and in-tune with Etana on her website (www.etanastrongone.com) or Twitter (@EtanaStrongOne) and on Facebook (Etana)

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