Two Students Win Local Essay Contest

  • Middle School
Two Students Win Local Essay Contest

Recently, two St. Paul's 6th grade students won the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter's annual essay contest. The essay prompt asked writers to explore a first-person perspective of journeying to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. 

On Monday, February 18, the two winners, Eli and Lila, joined the DAR chapter for a special luncheon and awards ceremony. Eli and Lila read their essays for the group and accepted awards. Their essays will now be submitted to the Missouri state level DAR essay contest later this school year.

Both Lila and Eli's essays tell stories of pilgrim families struggling to survive the dire conditions aboard the Mayflower. Read below for a quote from each essay:

"Last night, one last storm stopped us from making our way back south, so we’ll have to settle down here. The crew has spotted what looks to be an abandoned village that we can stay in. I think this is the right decision. We all haven’t set foot on stable ground for months and no one wishes to be denied the opportunity. As we made our glorious way to the rocky beach ahead, finally, my right foot stepped on solid ground then my left. There were shouts and cries for joy all around me, and suddenly I found myself on the ground in tears.

'Finally,' I thought, 'finally.' "

- from Eli's essay, The Voyage of the Mayflower: A New Life

" 'Time to board,' someone shouted. I think it was the ship’s captain, Christopher Jones. Father squeezed my hand, knowing that I didn’t want to do this. We climbed up onto the bow of the ship and found the main quarters. My heart sank when I saw our small space. We would be living here for more than two months, and we had sleeping quarters that were the size of a closet. When we went to dinner, I heard someone say that this ship was not meant to carry people, only goods. That frightened me."

- from Lila's essay, The Voyage of the Mayflower: A Journey to a New World

Congratulations to Eli and Lila for this great achievement! We are so proud of their creative exploration of this nation's origin story.