Students recognized by local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter for essay contest

The Daughters of the American Revolution honor two students with awards for their essays in February. 

Junior Jaci Siegert was honored by the chapter as the overall winner for the Christopher Columbus essay contest. 

The contest was open to all students in grades nine through twelve and the prompt asked students to write an essay as if they were a sailor with Columbus on his voyage and now returned to Spain. They were also asked to talk about the experiences on the voyage, detailing the places and people that they would have encountered, and what they see as the significance of the discoveries made.

“I felt honored to be chosen as the recipient for this award,” Siegert said. “I was surprised to win since I knew I was competing against everyone who entered across the chapters region.”

Siegert said she enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from the process of writing the essay.

“I wanted to do the essay because I enjoy writing and thought it would be a good opportunity,” Siegert said. “The DAR is a great organization, and I appreciate their support.”

Senior Shannon Keyser was recognized for the Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest.

The award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities. 

This year’s prompt was: “How would you energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens?”

“Since this award is only presented to one senior at each high school, I felt honored to be chosen,” Keyser said. “The prompt was about something that is important to me, so I enjoyed writing it.”

Each winner from the schools within the DAR chapter’s region read their essays aloud to a crowd composed of DAR members, school representatives, and winners’ family members. 

“I hadn’t read my essay in several months because it makes me nervous to read what I wrote before I know the results for a contest,” Keyser said. “Though reading back through my essay was interesting, I was even more intrigued by the other winners’ take on the prompt.”

 Keyser enjoyed writing on the topic and believes it is vital for youth to take an active role on both a local and global level.

“I feel like the topic of encouraging youth to be effective citizens is important because the world won’t magically get better unless people make an effort to improve themselves,” Keyser said. “Through this essay, I was able to convey my thoughts on how this could happen like increasing service to others, teaching people to think for themselves, and developing a good work ethic.”

Administrators and teachers alike are proud of what Siegert and Keyser have accomplished with their essays.

“Both girls are gifted writers and excellent examples of students who are dedicated to their education,” English teacher Lisa Prejean said. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

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