An essay written by Costanza A. '23 was selected as the winner of the 2022 American Freedom Essay Contest, a prominent, national writing contest, in the “Middle School” category.
"NFA had so many wonderful submissions,” said English Language Teacher Judy Riviezzo. “However, Costanza's essay took a unique approach to the privilege of voting. Her writing pieces are always amazing; I am thrilled that she is receiving this recognition. It is so well deserved!"
By winning the Middle School category, Akor also won her classmates a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia.
Akkor’s essay was entitled “The Voice on a Piece of Paper” and it looked at the power of voting in the United States. Read it below.
A piece of paper holds the future of the country. A piece of paper makes the nation’s voice heard. A piece of paper represents the three hundred and twenty-nine point five million people that live in America. That piece of paper is the ballot. Abraham Lincoln once said, “the ballot is better than the bullet,” and he couldn’t be more right. When Lincoln was alive, revolution would spark if people couldn’t be heard. Now, we have a way to voice our opinions safely in the form of voting. Voting is a very commonplace idea and is used daily by people all around the world. In classrooms, when deciding who gets to present. In courtrooms, when deciding if a defendant is guilty or not. In the government, when deciding if a bill should be sent to the president to be vetoed or approved. It is vital that citizens have the right to vote so that our democracy stays strong and prosperous. If we didn’t vote, democracy would evolve into dictatorship like Hitler and Mussolini. If we didn’t vote, our voices are silenced, our needs are not met, and inequality prevails. Voting is our most valuable asset and it shaped our country into what it is today and in one thousand seven hundred and ten days or about four years, I will be able to vote. I will become a guardian of our democracy, an American citizen with the right to vote. The power I will get to hold is large but I am excited to make the future better for generations to come.
“I wrote about the freedom to vote,” said Akkor. “I really want to vote.”
“Through the writing in Costanza's essay, she uses her voice to advocate for the right to vote,” noted Shannon Craige, Director of Curriculum & Innovation. “Costanza's powerful words empower us all to appreciate the value of voting and the importance of our votes in impacting the future. Costanza is a positive leader in our NFA community, and I am so happy she was recognized for her talent and dedication to writing!”
Costanza started at NFA in preschool.
“I developed my writing skills a lot (at NFA),” said Costanza.
Every fall, in honor of Constitution Day & Citizenship Day, The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia sponsors its annual American Freedom Essay Contest. The American Freedom Essay Contest challenges educators to have their students write a 100-300 word essay on the importance of freedom in their lives. Entries are judged in Elementary School, Middle School and High School categories with the winner in each category earning a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour for his/her class. The contest generally runs from September through mid-October each year.