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Winning Essay Nabs $5,000

A Glenrock High School Junior is the winner of the 2015 American Dream Essay contest. Miriam Williams penned an essay titled “The Legacy of a Lifetime” to take home the $5,000 grand prize for being named the statewide winner. Kyla Christensen of Kaycee took second, winning a $2,500 cash prize and Dalton Aullman of Star Valley won $1,500 as the third place winner. The winners were announced this afternoon in Casper.

Miriam Williams, pictured with her mom, won first place in the state American Dream Essay Contest. ©BGCCW2015

Miriam Williams, pictured with her mom, won first place in the state American Dream Essay Contest. ©BGCCW2015

The American Dream Essay Contest is centered on bestselling author, Jim Owen’s “Ten Principles to Live By,” as highlighted in his book Cowboy Ethics. Every high school and home school student is invited to participate by asking students in grades 10-12, to reflect on the ten principles and write an essay based on their own personal beliefs or guiding forces. Local winners receive $300 and go on to compete on the state level.

The 2015 Class American Dream Essay Contest Local Winners. ©BGCCW2015

The 2015 Class American Dream Essay Contest Local Winners. ©BGCCW2015

More than 500 students, representing 25 schools, participated in this year’s contest. Monetary awards are given for first, second, and third place winners on the local level. The first place winner from each school is forwarded to the state competition where it was evaluated by a separate panel of judges to determine the state winner. Sponsoring teachers also receive monetary incentives for participation and a prize if their student’s essay wins at the state level. A total of more than $35,000 was awarded at this year’s competition.

Ervin Johnson, retired NBA player, posed for pictures with attendees of the American Dream Essay Contest Banquet in Casper. ©BGCCW2015

Ervin Johnson, retired NBA player, posed for pictures with attendees of the American Dream Essay Contest Banquet in Casper. ©BGCCW2015

 

Retired NBA player, Ervin Johnson addressed the students and their special guests at the banquet Sunday afternoon. He told of his humble beginning growing up in Louisiana, not even touching a basketball until he was encouraged to try out for the team with the University of New Orleans. He went on to be the first round draft pick for the Seattle Supersonics. Over the course of his 13 years in the NBA, he played for the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucs, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He encouraged the kids to pursue an education, listen to their parents, work hard, and live a positive life.

 

The American Dream Essay contest is sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, Zimmerman Family Foundation, Robert P. Schuster, Larry and Margo Bean, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming.

 

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