2009 Bud Billiken essay winners

As part of the annual Bud Billiken Royal Court competition, contestants are required to take part in an essay competition, writing on preselected subjects. This year’s winners responded to questions about the importance of education and a visit to a

As part of the annual Bud Billiken Royal Court competition, contestants are required to take part in an essay competition, writing on preselected subjects. This year’s winners responded to questions about the importance of education and a visit to a place where you were a stranger and didn’t know anyone. All winners won a new computer.

1st Place: Rayyah Bradley, 11 years old, 6th grader, Robert A. Black Magnet Elem. School

Last summer, I was 1 of 30 students selected to participate in a cultural dance and tumbling exchange program in Nassau, Bahamas. I lived with a 10-year-old Bahamian girl and her family for one week. My mom, sister, aunt and cousins came with me to Nassau, but they stayed in a hotel. When we arrived, my mom took me to the Bahamas School of Dance for a reception. I was scared and excited. It was really hot and their school did not have air conditioning. The Bahamians were very friendly and talked with an accent. I met my host, Savannah. I was happy and nervous all at the same time because I was going to live with strangers. I imagined that their house was a hut because they lived on an island. When I arrived at Savannah’s house, it was beautiful. They served me fried bananas, curry chicken and conch. And on the last day of the program, Savannah and I danced together in a show. I really had a good time. This summer, I am looking forward to meeting more new people when I perform with my dance school at the United Nations in New York City.

2nd Place (tied): Micaela Foreman, 8 years old, 4th grader, Annie Keller Elem. Gifted Magnet School

Is education important to you? Education was important to Abraham Lincoln. It is important for young people to stay in school because they need an education to obtain a career, to take care of their family and to become world class citizens. First of all, young people need to stay in school and complete their education to obtain a career. They can earn money to take care of their family. Young people should always do their very best even if it is hard. My next reason young people need to stay in school is because they need an education to become world class citizens. I am not a world class citizen yet, but my school’s goal is to create world class citizens. Young people need an education to become world class citizens so they can be positive people. When young people become world class citizens they also become world and community supporters. In conclusion, completing your education is important to young people because they need an education to obtain a career and take care of their family, and become world class citizens. Education is important to me, and I believe it is important to other young people too!

2nd Place (tied): Tierra Anderson, 12 years old, 7th grader, Fairfield Elem. Academy

Did you know studies show 7,000 students drop out everyday? And only about 70 percent of students graduate from high school with a regular high school diploma? This is why finishing school is so important. We all know completing school is a complicated task, but we all need to finish. School may be boring, but everything you learn within the 12-plus years you will most likely use in everyday life. No one wants to work at McDonald’s to make a living so why not complete school to get a better career. Finishing school is so important because education is the key to success, which means the more you succeed the more you achieve. Also, by 2016, almost 75 percent of high wage jobs (those exceeding $45,000 a year) will require a bachelor’s degree or higher. We are the only ones who can determine our future, and we can make our future brighter every step we take. Basically what I’m trying to say is stay in school and focus on your goals. When you believe you achieve! 

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In main photo: (from left) Tierra Anderson, Rayyah Bradley, Micaela Foreman

Click here to see photos from the Bud Billiken coronation.

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