St. Helens Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1440 and its Auxiliary Unit recently honored two Columbia City students for their winning essay entries in its annual essay competition.
Seventh grader Alexis Jenkins and sophomore Maria Burns were announced as the Post winners in the “Patriot’s Pen” and “Voice of Democracy” essay contests.
National VFW organizes and sponsors the annual contest in which winners are also granted awards and scholarship. The first place winners are invited to an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. There’s also a $30,000 scholarship award for high school students. Middle-school students can also win a $5,000 scholarship.
Jenkins’ essay on the theme of “Why I Honor the American Flag”, which was selected as the district winner in the Patriot’s Pen essay competition, will now compete for a state-wide contest against 13 other states.
Jenkins said her win meant her work “really paid of”, adding that she was “surprised and excited” to be picked.
Burns was named as post winner for the “Voice of Democracy” contest in the high school category. This year’s theme for the contest was “Why My Vote Matters.”
“Well, the theme this year was why voting matters, and I think it’s important to vote. I pretty much thought of reasons why you should vote and the sacrifices which people made back then, so that I can vote now,” said Burns.
Burns has consistently done well in previous essay contests of VFW as well. Earlier, in 2016-17 school year, she also won the Pen essay competition on the district and state level.
“Well I like doing it. I think it’s kind of fun,” said Burns, adding that she plans to enter the essay competition next year, as well.