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2002 Essay Contest Finalists

First HSLDA Essay Contest a Success!

Hundreds of dedicated home school students participated in the first Home School Legal Defense Association Essay Contest. After sifting through dozens of essays apiece, the judges have chosen three winners from each category.

HSLDA President Mike Smith congratulated the students for their hard work. "Seeing essays of this caliber is encouraging, since it shows that God is using the home school movement to prepare young people who know what they believe and can articulate those beliefs." He also thanked all of the students who took time to write an essay and submit it. "For those who didn't win, I hope they try again next year," he said.

"I wish I didn't have to choose only three! It's too hard a decision," said one judge. "But it really shows the quality of the work submitted."

In Category I, students from 12 to 15 wrote on the topic, "Who is your hero and why?" First place in this category goes to Grace Lichlyter for her essay on the Scottish missionary and runner Eric Liddell. In second place is Ruth Miller, who chose civil rights leader Rosa Parks for her hero. Third place is awarded to Andrew Colbert, whose hero is the famed English Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

For Category II, students from 16 and 18 had to discuss "Why is home schooling good for America?" The first place prize goes to Susan Smoots, who wrote an account of a conversation with her grandparents about her choice to home school through the high school years. Second place is awarded to Heather Roach, who focused on the type of people needed to make America great, and how home schooling produces those people. In third place is Jonathan Kanary, who discussed the many benefits of home schooling, including better education and its positive effect on the family.

First place in each category was $500. Second was $250. Third was $100.

The proceeds from the contest will be given to the Home School Foundation Special Needs Fund.

Read the winning essays below:

Category I
First Place: The Higher Calling, by Grace Lichlyter
Second Place: Rosa Parks, by Ruth Miller
Third Place: Winston Churchill, by Andrew Colbert

Category II
First Place: A Root Issue, by Susan Smoots
Second Place: Why is Home Schooling Good for America?, by Heather Roach
Third Place: Why Home Schooling is Good for America, by Jonathan Kanary

Semi-Finalists, Category I:
John Michael Curry
Colin Nandeena Azariah-Kribbs
Markie Lynn Lenard
Elisabeth Grace Foley
Noelle Annette Blankenship
Patrick Andrew McKay
Melissa Anne Beshaw
Faith Marie Alessio
Benjamin David Doster
Megan Elizabeth Frame
Lindsay Grace Flegge
Blake Fortier
Joshua Joseph Earl
Andy Edwards
Christiana D Herron
A. Lynn Phillips
Bradley Thomas Kidd
Sarah Caudill
Erin Rebekah Cotita
Kristen Kocourek
Mary Grace Sweeney
Hannah Ross Lee
Faith Wardlaw
Amanda Louisa McCrina
Matthew Daryl Wolking
Lindsay Robyn Miller
Daniel James Peeler

Semi-Finalists, Category II:
Laura Christine Barnard
Samuel Hawkey
Katherine J. Bugos
Ricardo Robert Alessio
Amanda Elyse Lydon
Mallory Rascher
Benjamin Verner Guthrie
Jennifer Lane Schlaudt
Jason James Carini
Zebulon Seth Carpenter
John Patrick Pazdziora
Jennifer E. Hunstiger
Jonathan Jay Bode
Shaun P. Terhune