Winners of the Being An American Essay Contest

Apr 07, 2010

Following up on my post about the Being An American Essay Contest, which culminated in a trip to DC last week, the winning essays are now posted on the Bill of Rights Institute Website.

 I loved the essay of David Rinder from New Jersey, who wrote about Independence:

“Independence and the ability to control one's own destiny are ideals held dear by Americans. Entrepreneurship is the most essential attribute because it results in inventions and services that augment the general welfare and create innovative ideas out of one's dreams. It is about setting goals and realizing one's vision, which is the essence of America.”

He cites Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, a big read for a high school student. But his personal example is a business he started, which has a built-in economic model that donated 25% of its profits to charitable causes. Impressive.

Another essay I thought was amazing was from McKenzie Van Meter from Tennessee, who wrote about Patrick Henry and the Declaration of Independence. McKenzie plans to join the Peace Corps, and uses the organization as an example of Initiative, which was the civic value she focused on:

“Though America is a country of diversity, one quality links us together: initiative. Though this quality is intangible, its implications are anything but. Every American accomplishment, every revolution, every scientific breakthrough, every social reform has been made possible by our uncompromising initiative.”

And one more I have to mention is from Geidys Mederos who lives in Miami. She wrote about George Washington and the concept of Responsibility, which we talk about a lot in the corporate citizenship world:

“Responsibility is what takes us from wanting to do something to applying ourselves and achieving it. With responsibility and determination, we are able to do nearly anything. Likewise, without responsibility we are able to destroy everything…George Washington personified responsibility like few have done; his example of accountability should be followed by all…Indisputably, responsibility is the conductor of success, which in turn stimulates our country's continual freedom and welfare.”

Click here to read all 9 winning essays, or follow the links on the page to see the top 10 from each region of the country. These are the quotes of the future leaders of our country. Don't miss them!

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