This image was lost some time after publication.

The op-ed page of today's Times no doubt brings heartbreak to some 3,799 college students nationwide; Nick Kristof's column carries the news that he has picked someone else to go on a free trip to Africa with him this summer. The lucky winner? 23-year-old Casey Parks, of Jackson, Miss. Casey, a graduate j-student at the University of Missouri, won Kristof over with her tale of a hardscrabble youth and a desire to see the world. She wrote: "I saw my mother skip meals. I saw my father pawn everything he loved. I saw our cars repossessed. I never saw France or London." (Or, apparently, the merits of parallelism.) Casey's full essay is available on Kristof's website, along with essays by the other 12 vanquished finalists, including our own precocious Henry the Intern. But the best part on Kristof's site is the video clip of him calling Casey with the big news. You'd think a man who can swashbuckler through Africa and buy sex slaves' freedom in a single bound wouldn't seem quite so profoundly awkward when tasked with making a simple phone call.

Win a Trip With Nick Kristof [NYT Video]
The Drumroll, Please [NYT]