Nolan Hull, a student at Plainfield East High School, recently won the Louis Joliet Chapter DAR Good Citizens essay contest.
Below is his winning essay.
"Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It"
By Nolan Hull
“You and your peers are our nation’s leaders of tomorrow. How would you energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens? Why is that important?”
When asked to energize a community to be effective citizens, I must be effective in displaying the full potential of my leadership abilities.
To start, I can only expect the youth to be as energized if and only if, their leader(s) are energizing from the position he or she holds.
In other words, I can’t rely on effective citizens to just appear, it must be taught and learned by energetic teachers, leaders, etc., who understand the importance of becoming an effective citizen.
The fundamentals of the United States are very important and must be taught to our youth for anyone to become an effective citizen.
Energizing the youth comes from the schools and communities the children are exposed to.
Teaching the core fundamental values in schools and throughout our communities will enable the youth to go out and make the changes needed to run the future United States.
No child is an effective citizen until they are taught.
Schools, the foundation to any American value, must emphasize the importance of a patriotic mindset; a fundamental value that goes back to the earliest America.
Getting the youth involved and teaching the aspects of why the core values like working hard, being dependable, and good leaders will affect every person’s life.
This will help eliminate some of the problems in today’s society, where there seems to be a lack of people ready to take on the challenges of the future.
From my personal standpoint, I believe when it comes to school, we need the youth to be more involved in the governmental system.
We have seen in recent years the voting outcome, especially in younger generations, drastically decrease from what it used to be.
This is just one example, however, the thing I am trying to point out is schools, and the lack of interest in our own education.
I believe students need to see how things will affect their future. That is one way I can energize the youth by showing them the benefits of the concepts learned and how it will affect their future.
No student wants to sit down and learn about the Founding Fathers or Article 1 of the Constitution, but by explaining the relevance in them and how it has and/ or will affect them will most definitely get kids more energized not only in the topics learned but for what the future holds.
My goal is not just to teach the fundamental values of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” but instead get the youth interested in learning and understanding their future life, the liberties they have, and the happiness that comes along with being a citizen of the United States.
Overall, the importance of becoming an effective citizen will set the pathway for our generation, but also future generations to come.
The question is not “Why is our generation not willing to be effective citizens,” but instead “How can we change the status- quo to make these children interested in becoming the next generation?”
It’s not a change that will just happen overnight, but getting the youth involved in aspects of learning, I believe is a major way we can mold the youth of today into becoming the effective generation of tomorrow.
Each week LocalLit will deliver an original short and family-friendly story, or a book review, by a local author to the newsletter's subscribers.
Authors with a connection to our readership area may submit. Submission does not guarantee acceptance.
To submit or for more information, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for the free LocalLit newsletter at theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit/#//. Gomez's essay will appear this Tuesday.
About the Louis Joliet chapter of DAR
According to its website at louisjolietdar.weebly.com, the Louis Joliet chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution started in 1911.
It serves the Joliet-area community with projects in schools, veteran homes, nursing homes, historical organizations, community organizations, American Legion and VFW Posts.