Vfw Post 1994 High School Essay Contest

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Thanks to his original essay entitled, “The America I Believe In,” Adam Mssika, a sixth-grade student at Vista Middle School, won first-place in the New Mexico Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2016-17 Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest, after his essay was selected from a pool of more than 840 submissions from across the state, according to VFW officials.

Adam Mssika

“It’s inspiring to see a student write with such eloquence and conviction,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing. “This is a highly competitive competition throughout the country, so we’re proud that Adam will go on to represent New Mexico at the national level.”

As the winner of the state competition, Mssika will now go on to represent New Mexico in the national competition, where he will compete against 53 other regional winners for a chance to win individual awards, ranging from $500-$5,000. At the national level, the first-place winner will receive $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C.

Mssika was sponsored by the Raymond L. Greene VFW Post 6917, a local VFW Post, which will also recognize him at an awards luncheon in early March.

The VFW Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition is a national competition which awards prizes to middle school students based on their 300- to 400-word essays about a given essay topic. Each year the VFW selects a new essay topic for the competition and this year’s theme was, “The America I Believe In.”

All of the winning essays at the local and national level are selected based on: knowledge of theme, theme development and clarity of ideas, according to the VFW website. The competition is open to all open to sixth- through eighth-grade students who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the U.S.

According to the VFW website, each year, more than 132,000 middle school students enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The VFW started the Patriot’s Pen competition in 1995 to encourage students to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by composing an original, patriotic-themed essay.

In November 2016, Mssika won the Las Cruces Veterans Day Parade poster art contest and his original design was used as the official poster for the city’s Veteran’s Day Parade. In addition, Mssika also recently won second-place in the LCPS District Spelling Bee.

Click here to read the winning essay

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