VFW Post 8870 recognizes student essay contest winners

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Essay contest winners. (Photo courtesy VFW Post 8870)

Edmonds-based VFW Post 8870 recognized several local students Jan. 10 as winners in the annual National VFW Essay contest. One of those honored, Edmonds-Woodway High School student Olivia Olsen, won first place for the third year in a row.

The theme for this year’s Youth Essay contest for grades 4 and 5 was “Why Are Men and Women Who Serve in the Military Special?” Winners were Finley Gonzales, a 4th grade student at Endeavour Elementary School and Margaret Moon, a 5th grade student at Mukilteo Elementary School. Runners up at this grade level who also attend Mukilteo Elementary School were Joel Brannon, Abbey Summerville, and Audrey Stewart. Two 5th graders, Trevor Coble and Ethan Jacobsen,  who attend Brier Elementary School, were also selected as runners-up. Margaret was presented with a $100 scholarship from the Post, and each runner up received a $25 scholarship.

The Patriot’s Pen essay contest is open for Middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and the theme for this year’s contest was “The America I Believe In.” The winning entry was submitted by Mohuwa Wahid, a student at Explorer Middle School. Mohuwa follows her sister, Lara, who had previously been a two-time winner in this competition. She received a $100 scholarship. Sara Hatab of Olympic View Middle School was named runner-up. She received a $25 scholarship.

Edmonds-Woodway 11th grader Olivia Olsen garnered 1st place honors and a $100 scholarship in the Voice of Democracy contest. This essay contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12. While the Youth Essay and Patriot’s Pen competition requires a written essay, the Voice of Democracy competition requires the submission of an audio essay. This year’s topic was “My Responsibility to America.” Lara Wahid, a 9th grade student at Kamiak High School was awarded runner-up honors.

Each of the students who won their respective contests, read their essays to the nearly 80 parents, family members, and VFW members who were in attendance at the Jan. 10 meeting.

The post’s student essay competition is coordinated by Fred Apgar who also serves as post chaplain. The winning entries have been forwarded to Washington State VFW for consideration at the district and state levels. More information about VFW Post 8870 activities and programs can be obtained by visiting www.vfw8870.org.

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