American Legion Post 270 in McLean recently announced the prize winners of its Middle School Essay Contest, in which about 50 local seventh- and eighth-graders participated.
Caroline Gray, a seventh-grader at Cooper Middle School in McLean, won first prize and $50 and will now represent McLean at the 17th District Middle School Essay Contest in Fairfax against winners of contests in other communities later in February.
Mohammed Moustafa of King Abdullah Academy in Herndon came in second place.
To compete in this contest, middle-school students had to hand-write a one-page essay completing the following prompt: “I like living in America because. . .”
Schools participating in this contest included Cooper Middle School and the King Abdullah Academy. Principals at each selected their schools’ best essays, and the two winning essays were sent to Post 270 for a decision.
In her essay, Gray wrote about how in America, everyone is allowed to speak his or her opinion, and that this gives people of all ages an opportunity to have a positive impact on their community, state and nation. She concluded her essay by writing, “I love living in America because it is a country where all people, great or small, have a voice that brings change, joy, and value to our community and the world.”
Moustafa wrote about America’s being the land of opportunity and credited his doctor father for coming to America to give Moustafa and his siblings the chance to become whatever they wanted.
“America was one of the only places where the sky truly was the limit,” he wrote.