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Assets Writing Contest winners

Editor’s note: Asset Builders of the Summit sponsored a writing contest in February. The Summit Daily honored the authors by printing the first-place essays over the course of several days. This is the final installment.

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The Third Annual Inspired by Assets Writing Contest took place in February. Students in grades K-12 wrote on the theme “What the World Needs Now.” Contest organizers received 325 essays this year. The first place winners’ essays are below. The Inspired by Assets Writing Contest does not endorse any of the ideas represented in the essays. Of utmost importance to the contest is the freedom of expression and development of creativity embodied by the asset philosophy. The 40 developmental assets are skills, experiences, relationships, and values that all young people need to succeed.



– Asset Builders of the Summit

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“What the World Needs Now”

By Madison Snyder,

Frisco Elementary

First Place, First Grade

The world needs peace. We need peace because there is war. War is not fun. If there was peace, people would love each other. People do not like each other sometimes. The world will be a better place if there is peace.

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“What the World Means Now”

By Liana Dagdavaryan

First Place, Eighth Grade

What does the world mean now? Everybody has probably asked this question before. Yet, it seems like it is coming up today more than ever before. Even though I am just 14 years old, I find myself wondering and thinking about the world’s problems. I remember sitting in front of the television on September 11 thinking that nothing like this could have happened. For a couple of days or even weeks afterwards, I still could not believe that so many people had died. To me, it seemed like United States was indestructible and nothing bad would happen. After all, this is one of the many reasons my mother, I and every other immigrant had chosen to continue and in some cases start their lives in America.

Just yesterday, on a Saturday morning, I was riding the Summit Stage. When we came to a stop on a red light, I looked away from my newspaper I was reading and quickly glanced outside to see why we had stopped. To my amazement, I saw three protesters with their signs of peace standing in the blowing snow. This might sound silly, but I have never seen a protest except on TV or a newspaper. I read their signs, I got a smile across my face thinking that people actually do care, even in a tiny town like Breckenridge. If those protesters didn’t care, they would never have come out into the freezing weather and stand with their hand-made signs that many people probably don’t even agree with. Anyways, my point is that people have become more sensitive about America and the whole world that they will do anything possible to make things right. Until now, I have never seen this displayed before.

While I am on the topic of protests, I believe that peaceful marches are the only way to go. When I watch the news and see crowds of people walking around with their signs and then suddenly a fight, I sometimes want to laugh. How can you persuade someone to a peaceful way when you are doing exactly the opposite thing? Fighting! I understand that it is sometimes hard to control emotions, but being too aggressive ruins everything! In my opinion, it is more effective to see very peaceful and reasonable people go by than a person who is out of control.

Protests are only one thing that is different about the world today. Just the basic attitude and the things people do have also changed. One of the biggest things that I have noticed is that all of my classmates including myself are interested in the world much more than they used to be. We read newspapers, even though it is sometimes dorky to do, watch the news on television, and talk to our teachers about recent events that have happened. In my Humanities class, the teacher, Mr. McDonald read an article to us which was about a soldier in Kuwait who talked about how the men there are wanting baked goods really bad. So now, a lot of the students in the class have volunteered to bake some sweets and bring them in so they could be shipped to Kuwait. To make it more interesting, we even decided on having a cookie day for ourselves where we cook and bring some munchies in to enjoy with our friends. This is the kind of thing that we can to make this world a different place. We need to make people feel warm inside and show that people really do care though it sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. Even kids our age can make something better by doing the tiniest things.

Moving off the subject of war, I think that community service is a big part of today – helping with a fundraiser, serving lunch at the senior center and millions of other tasks every person can do that will make somebody else’s life much easier and making themselves feel much better in the process. Some people don’t even realize they are doing community service while they are making a huge difference. Whole families could go to the animal shelter or the senior home as well as help out on special events like Make A Difference Day and on town clean-up days. When I help somebody with a thing they need to get done, I feel wonderful even if I didn’t exactly like the task. For example, I remember going with a friend to Make A Difference Day and having to pick up pieces of wood from the ground in a forest and stacking them in piles for five hours in pretty cold weather. Even though afterwards I was exhausted, I felt awesome for making a difference!

Another way I think that we could change the world is by being more tolerant and respectful of other people’s decisions. Sometimes I sit in class and listen to my friends argue. When a political member’s name is mentioned, everyone freaks out as if they’re the devil. When the talk comes to an artist with their particular style, I also sometimes hear disgusted voices. It is extremely important to share our opinions, but we also need to look on the other side of the point and sometimes put ourselves in other people’s shoes. We might want to hear another point of view because it might make a lot of sense.

Finally, another way to change the world is to practice compromising. It worked great during the forming of the Constitution and should work most of the time in a conflict. When only one person wins, it doesn’t feel right because someone is left hurt. Everybody feels even when both sides of the argument win with no negative feelings. Instead of being enemies after one side wins, it is better to compromise and stay in a good relationship.

Well, all of my ideas are just opinions and might not be what somebody else thinks. Yet, hopefully they might change the world for the better and make more people happier in the world we live in today!


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