The Veterans of Foreign Wars have been dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation for over 100 years. Every year, the VFW conducts a nationwide youth essay competition which gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme, “America’s Gift to my Generation,” resulted in over 6,000 essays submitted by students from every participating middle school in Somerset County. Saint James School in Basking Ridge is proud to announce that its students are already reaping the rewards of a renewed focus on writing in the curriculum by winning at the local level and sweeping the district competition earning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
The local Post 7858 winners were Olivia Gaibor, Grade 8, Brenna Watkins, Grade 7, and Remy Batista, Grade 6. Winners at the district-level were 3rd place winner, Remy Batista, 2nd Place winner and 8th grader, Ryan Schuh, and 1st place winner Olivia Gaibor. Olivia will be honored among the rest of the state winners at a reception on February 17, at which the New Jersey state winner will be announced.
Gaibor’s essay focused on how education was America’s greatest gift to her generation, saying that education provides safety, opportunities, and long-lasting relationships for children in America. She also argued that these opportunities help children succeed in life and explained the importance that every child receive proper education benefits now and in the generations to come. Olivia hopes to win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and have a chance at the first-place national award of $5,000.