The U.S. Army and the Society of Professional Journalists’-Keystone Chapter teamed to provide students an opportunity to receive savings bonds for their higher education.
Close to 30 high school juniors and seniors throughout Pennsylvania answered an age-old question: “How has your high school experience prepared you for your future goals?”
Students explained their answers in the first-ever “Youth LDRSHIP (Leadership) Essay Contest,” sponsored by the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Keystone Pro Chapter.
First place winner, Jenn Hockenberry, wrote the following in her essay about her dedication to help people and do her best in the world:
“I’ve learned many important values like responsibility, time management and respect, but the most important thing that I think I have learned is duty and selfless service through my volunteer work.”
Hockenberry, a junior at Kittanning High School, will receive a $1,000 savings bond to use for her post-secondary education. Her classmate, Shannon Walker earned a $500 savings bond by garnering second place, and Northern High School junior, John “Jack” Krimmel who placed third will receive a $300 savings bond.
To answer the essay question, students had to include at least one of the Army’s Core Values – Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, and, Personal Courage, in short form LDRSHIP.
“Living the Army Values means living to a higher standard,” said the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Stephen Lockridge. “These students who won the contest certainly encompass what it means to live by these values through their volunteer work, integrity to accomplish their goals, and discipline and commitment to lead.”
Representatives from Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion and SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter judged and administered the contest, which was open to juniors and seniors living in the battalion’s western and central Pennsylvania territory.
Like the national society, the chapter promotes open government, freedom of speech and the practice of accurate, ethical, entertaining and informative journalism.
“A high school education is about more than learning how to read and write,” said Daniel Axelrod, the SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter’s president. “It’s about developing a value system and finding your place in the world. The SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter hopes these ambitious young adults become America’s next great writers.”
Representatives from the battalion and SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter will present the winners with their savings bonds during award ceremonies at their respective high schools.
To read all of the essays submitted, visit click here.