U.S. Army Essay Winners Earn $1,000, $500, $300 Savings Bonds
By Christine June
Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion
Kittanning Senior High School Seniors Jenn Hockenberry and Shannon Walker, and Northern High School Junior John “Jack” Krimmel ruled the first-ever U.S. Army “Youth LDRSHIP Essay Contest” for Pennsylvania high school juniors and seniors.
First-Place Winner Hockenberry earned a $1,000 savings bond, and her classmate, Walker got a $500 savings bond for placing second in the inaugural contest sponsored by the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion – Harrisburg and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Keystone Pro Chapter. Krimmel received a $300 savings bond for placing third.
Sgt. Justin Myers, from the U.S. Army Recruiting Station – Butler, presented certificates of appreciation to Hockenberry and Walker May 31 during the English Advance Placement class they share together.
Staff Sgt. Artis Goddard, from the U.S. Army Recruiting Station – Mechanicsburg presented a certificate of appreciation to Krimmel May 31 during Northern High School’s end-of-the-year award ceremony.
“Out of all the high school juniors and seniors throughout Pennsylvania, this school and this class have the first- and second-place winners of an essay contest sponsored by my battalion. How amazing is that?,” asked Myers, to the class just before he announced the winners’ names.
The essay winners have already received the savings bonds to use for their post-secondary education from the SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter. Buying books is how Hockenberry plans to spend her savings bond when she goes for her nursing degree at Indiana University in the fall. Walker was thinking about using the money toward a camera since she is headed to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Digital Filmmaking and Video Production.
Open to high school juniors and seniors throughout Pennsylvania, the contest was centered on one question. How did their high school experiences prepare them for their future goals? In answering, 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.
Hokenberry wrote the following in her essay about her dedication to help people and succeed 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.”
The Army’s Core Values is nothing new to Walker, whose father served in the U.S. Army for 29 years.
“I can find a lot of examples (of Army Core Values) from my childhood,” said Walker, after the presentation. “I think selfless service is big because doing things for other people not only makes you feel good, but it also helps out the community.”
Representatives from Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion and SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter judged and administered the contest.