Ackerman Essay Contest

Ackerman Youth Essay Contest

Ackerman Youth Essay Contest Results!

By Debbie Strauss Ackerman Youth Essay Contest Chair

“The iris is a symbol of hope and renewal, a reminder that even after the darkest of days, there is always a new beginning.”

Another year another group of AIS youth winners! The American Iris Society Ackerman Youth Essay Contest has finished for 2023. Thank you to all the youth who wrote to the prompt and all the adults who encouraged them to. I am very happy to announce the winners of this contest. You can read the essays and see the drawings of some of the gardens from the winning essays here in this Iris Fan newsletter. Here is the list of winners. Congratulations to all of them!
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2023 Ackerman Winners flyer

9 & Under Age Group
1st - Sammy Long Region 14
2nd - Wyatt Willis Region 7
3rd - Rachel Martin Region 18



10 -12 Age Group
1st - Ariel Barker Region 14
2nd - Lily Young Region 7
3rd - Benjamin Wilson Region 15



13 & Over Age Group
1st - Ellie Ferrin Region 22
2nd Jackson R. Hancock Region 3
3rd (tie) - Sabrina Anderson Region 14
3rd (tie) - Sarah Wheeler Region 20


Congratulations again to all our winners! They all received their letters, certificates, and prize monies. They will also all receive a 2023 new iris introduction from Howie Dash from Picacho Mountain Iris in the fall.

Hey all you AIS Youth Members, if you would like to get in on all this and write an essay for the 2024 Youth Ackerman Essay Contest, you can see the new prompt in July’s News and Notes. Or you can email me at I look forward to reading all of your new essays. There is also a link to a colorful winner’s flyer in the June News and Notes that you can share with your local society.

“Like the iris that is always reaching for the sun, never stop reaching for your dreams and aspirations.”