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The basic question posed to 14-year-old Ethiana Lovely Previlus — and all of the female high school students who participated in the “Day in the LIfe of a Princess” essay contest — was this: If you were princess for a day, what would you do?

Ethiana’s essay, which won first place, was titled “If I were a princess, how would I change the world?”

The contest was hosted by TIF and the Fifth Third Bank Women’s Network in coordination with the “Princess Diana: Dresses of Inspiration” exhibit currently open at The von Liebig Art Center. The 20 winners and their mentors were awarded the chance to participate in a traditional English tea and a guided tour of the Princess Diana exhibit.

Continue on to read an excerpt of Ethiana’s first-place essay.

From “If I were a princess, how would I change the world?” by Ethiana Lovely Previlus:

I’ve been asked many times if I could change the world, how would I change it. After many years, my answer hasn’t changed. If I were a princess, I would change the world by eliminating poverty.

My parents come from Haiti, the poorest country in the world. I visited Haiti two times before as a young child. So I was excited the summer my family decided to take a trip there. I was sure it would be a wonderful experience. Boy did reality slap me in the face!

The first night I slept in Haiti I cried and asked to come back home. I missed America with a passion.

The five-hour drive from the airport brought excruciating emotional pain. I saw things with my eyes that I only saw on TV. Kids on the street, begging for money and food. Many were naked and barefooted. Houses made from leaves were falling apart. Babies crying of hunger. I didn’t want to stay in a place where I saw my own people dying, and I couldn’t even do anything about it …

This is why if I could have one wish, I wouldn’t wish for a big house or a million dollars. I wouldn’t wish for a car, or even for my own happiness. I would wish to see Haiti in a position where people weren’t suffering the way they do now.

As a princess I would provide for everybody in the world that is in poverty. I know this would be difficult, but I’m a princess, so I’d be the boss. I would make sure every family has a pillow to put their heads on at night. I would make sure every child had an opportunity to get an education. Every child would have shoes and fresh clothes to put on their backs. No one will struggle to find basic survival supplies.

As we can see, today the world we live in faces many problems and challenges that we don’t have a solution for today. Our world needs a big lesson in teamwork, and needs to remember about the people, not the powerful. I promise you, if God would ever hand me a miracle and make me a princess, poverty wouldn’t exist.

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