As a child, Carol Kim would help her autistic brother on the playground because of his walking disability. When she was 8, she once punched a boy in the face who called him stupid.
But her brother Charles is only a year younger than she is. So not only has she served as his protector, but he in turn has been her friend and inspiration.
So when Kim, 17, read the open-ended prompt for a Kaplan/Newsweek essay contest, she said she knew immediately what to write about. Her brother is a topic she has touched on in several other writing assignments, including an elementary school essay, her eighth-grade convocation speech and another essay contest. This time around, she scored second place and won $2,000 in scholarship money.