LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Clinton Foundation awarded scholarships to three central Arkansas high school students for their essays on women’s equality. 

The students were awarded for their entries in the foundation’s Ideas Matter Scholarship Essay Contest. The writing prompt was based on a recent Clinton Presidential Center exhibit “Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes, Women’s Rights” and asked about ongoing efforts to advance women’s equality.

A panel of judges reviewed essays submitted in 2022 and 2023. Scholarships were awarded to the top three scoring students.

Mariam Paray, a senior at Pulaski Academy, won first place and a $2,500 scholarship. Paray’s essay called for investment, safer schools and cultural changes to create universal education and women’s equality and empowerment.

Richard Liu, a senior at Little Rock Central High School, was awarded second place and a $1,500 scholarship for his essay focusing on transforming women’s rights in Arkansas.

Mary Lyle, a junior at Vilonia High School, was awarded third place and a $1,000 scholarship for an essay addressing reproductive rights.

Additional information on the Ideas Matter Scholarship may be found at