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'Older person I admire' is essay contest theme

March 16, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s (AGHE’s) recent annual meeting celebrated eight students who discussed the older adults who have inspired them and made a difference in their lives.

The students, all from Lipscomb Academy and St. Bernard Academy in Nashville, Tenn., where the conference was held, won a writing contest sponsored by the K–12 Committee of AGHE, the educational branch of the Gerontological Society of America. The students read their winning essays and poems to the audience, which included the admired older adults in their lives, family members, friends and classmates in addition to AGHE meeting attendees. Each student received a framed certificate signed by AGHE President Donna Wagner, PhD, and a Barnes & Noble gift card.

This year’s contest theme was “An Older Person I Admire.” The winners:

  • First place: In “Mr. Rogers” (poem), Alex Fleming, writes about a good neighbor. The title of the other first-place winner, “My Mom (The Police Officer)” an essay by Jimmy Regen, is self-explanatory.
  • Second place: In “The Cast of a Fishing Line” (poem), Dane Mortensen writes about the grandfather who taught him the importance of hard work and dedication, and in an essay titled “The Gift,” Emily Wieman shares a lesson she learned from her mother: “It is so easy to make someone’s day with just a compliment or a smile, so why wouldn't you?”
  • Third place: In “The Epitome of a Christian Woman” (poem), Shelbi Sullivan admires her grandmother, and in “Firemen” (essay), Uma Peters writes about rescuers she encountered.
  • Honorable mention: In “That’s My Granddad” (poem), Sam Shelton writes about his grandfather, and in “John Williams” (esssay), Sara Wilson writes about the composer.