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We are pleased to announce the winners for the first of three essay contests for 2018. Before doing so, we wanted to thank everyone that participated. It is repeated for every contestant winner announcement, but bears repeating. And that is,  we wish we could award everyone that participated a five hundred dollar scholarship prize. The submitted essays were so compelling and to choose one staff favorite was difficult to say the least. That said, everyone that participated is a truly a winner, in that you are serving your country by volunteering your efforts in order that circumstances should be better for those you are serving. And that truly is the best prize of all.  So thank you for that. You all should be applauded for your commitment to fostering a better world.  As you all know, if there is anytime where  love, compassion, and service is needed, it’s now. With the on going natural calamities from fires to floods, and other similar events around the world, compounded by issues of racial and economic inequality, it’s so important we do all we can to ease the suffering of others, however small the gesture might be, it all makes a difference.
And now to announce the winners for the first 2018 Essay Contest.

For most shared essay, Brady Coulthard, “Books4Kids: Providing Books to Children of Low-Income Families”. Brady  started a book drive in his community which resulted in collecting a whopping 2400 books! These books are now being donated to local non-profits responsible for distributing the books to low income families. Great job Brady! We hope you will continue with your book drive efforts.

Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – Books4Kids: Providing Books to Children of Low-Income Families


For staff favorite James van Kuilenburg, “It Made Everything Worth it”. James founded a grassroots transgender advocacy group  called “Support
Frederick County Transgender Students”. The group was responsible for  passing a policy to protect trans students in the Frederick County school system.  Though some on our team debated the choice, it created dialogue amongst us, which was a clear indicator that we also needed to be educated on the issue and for this reason it is important that the needs and views of the Trans community be expressed to the greater public. Which in turn allows for a mutual respect between all members of the community. Great job James!

Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – It Made Everything Worth It


Great job to the both of you and congratulations!

Ideally there would be no need for scholarship contests, and each and every citizen would be assured a free college education.
As you know, a high school degree does not go too far these days, and to limit one’s access to a good education and their God given potential because of a lack of resources is truly unjust when we have the means to provide otherwise.  So, this is also up to you — to declare that you wish for a college education be granted as a right for all and not just an option for some. You all will soon be or are now of voting age. It’s time for your views to be put into law and to bring about a better future for your generation and generations to come. I do hope you will get involved in bringing about this change. Bless you all.