This past summer, Nassau Bay resident Stacey Amdur hosted a local writing workshop with the goal of helping students learn to use writing to make a difference. At the end of the workshop, students were asked to submit an essay on the question, "How can one person make a difference in their community and world?" The articles were judged and winners were selected by five teachers from all over the United States. Lilly M. and Kate A. tied as winners. Below are excerpts from each of their essays -- the links to their full essays can also be found below.
Change. The danger word, second only to ‘moist’ and ‘never’. To some people, the word tastes like a lemon soaked in vinegar, while it hints at a brighter future and happiness for others. Use it, and you risk the sparking of a burning debate that could go on for a long time. However, that is technically what I am trying to do—verbalize the ongoing argument that it is possible for anyone to reform their world and community, and give a few ideas how. Anyone can change their community and world by staying positive, standing up for truth, and being willing to adapt when the need arises.
Read Lilly's full essay here (PDF).
A neighbor eyes a frantic dog chained to a big, red truck in the sweltering summer. The animal is skinned to the bone and shaking. The frantic puppy anxiously cries out to the gawking stranger. Out of instinct, the neighbor shrugs and walks away, feeding lies to her damaged conscience. She tells herself that there is nothing she can do. Readers, this is something that is happening world-wide. People cower off to the sidelines with excuses. This needs to stop. You are strong enough. You are brave enough. You can speak up. Making a difference in your community starts by visualizing, and ends by spreading awareness and acting.
Read Kate's full essay here (PDF).
Congrats to our local student winners!