D’Aprile wins national essay contest
Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:10 pm
A Westview High School student beat out more than 50,000 other participants for a top spot in America’s largest high school essay contest, the Bill of Rights Institute announced today.
Representing the Mid-South Region, Marianela D’Aprile, a senior at Westview High School, earned an Honorable Mention prize and $250 in the fourth annual Being An American Essay Contest. The national competition is sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, an educational nonprofit based near Washington, D.C.
“It is encouraging to see so many teens heading into adulthood with a solid understanding of the principles upon which our country was founded,” said Bill of Rights Institute President Victoria Hughes, a former teacher. “This year’s winners deserve the accolades of their peers, teachers and communities for their contribution to the national conversation on American citizenship.”
More than 100,000 students attending public and private high schools, and home-schooled students from all 50 states, have participated in the Being An American Essay Contest to date, with nearly half-a-million dollars in prize money being awarded to winning students and their teachers.
“I am proud to support the Being An American Essay Contest and its goal of helping students understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship,” said New York philanthropist David H. Koch, the contest’s national sponsor. “I congratulate this year’s winners for their efforts.”
Additional sponsors include the Stuart Family Foundation, San Francisco; Amway Global, Ada, Mich.; the Jack Miller Family Foundation, Chicago; Norma Zimdahl, Tucson, Ariz.; the History Channel, New York, N.Y.; and the Cincinnatus Foundation, Washington, D.C. To participate, students were asked to share their thoughts on American citizenship by answering the following question: “What civic value do you believe is most essential to being an American?”
In her winning essay, D’Aprile, who selected “open-mindedness” as the civic value topic of her essay and thought John Adams most embodied the American character, wrote, “Revolutionary thinking does not mean blindly accepting change and new ideas simply because they are different. It means accepting them because they are better; it also means having the courage to later face the consequences if it turns out that the change was wrong.”
More information on the Being An American Essay Contest can be found at www.BeingAnAmerican.org. Copies of winning essays and photographs of students are available by request.