A Herricks High School freshman’s essay placed second in an international contest that challenged students to describe their ideal education.

Carrie Hsu, 14, was one of two second-place winners in the children’s category of the Goi Peace Foundation’s 2016 International Essay Contest for Young People. The contest, with the theme “Education to Build a Better Future for All,” received more than 12,000 entries from 150-plus countries in the children’s and youth categories.

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Hsu’s essay was titled “Education Across Endless Clouds” and focused on the importance of students being at peace and feeling free to have big dreams for the future, unlimited by fear. She received a certificate and $440. “Yes, students should eventually grow out of fantasies, but they should never forget them,” Hsu wrote.

Discussing her essay, Hsu said, “An ideal education system should help children find what they’re truly passionate about.”

She was inspired by her school’s Challenge Day, she said, when a student shared how other people were pushing ideas for his future but not hearing his ideas.

Hsu is a member of her school’s Euro Challenge program and Mathletes, Literature and STEM clubs. She also plays viola and studies in the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division.

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She currently is writing a novel about poverty and volunteers at the Shelter Rock Public Library, teaching elderly residents how to use technology.