Pound trio sweeps essay contest - now others will benefit

A University of Nebraska student organization will make donations that benefit U.S. military veterans and Puerto Rico hurricane victims as a result of essays researched and written by three 8th-graders at Pound Middle School.

Isabella Skare and Alexandra Kosmicki won first place in an essay contest sponsored by the University of Nebraska College of Law’s Community Legal Education Project (CLEP). Adi Mehlin won second place.

The contest asked 8th-grade students in Lincoln to write a one-page essay in which they identify a need in their community or beyond and an organization that is working to address that need. Nebraska state senators judged the essays.

Kosmicki and Skare wrote about the World Vision organization and its work to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. For their efforts, CLEP will donate $100 to World Vision. Mehlin wrote about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which will receive a $75 donation.

The three students entered the contest as part of teacher Carol Patterson’s American Studies class on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, when law students visited 8th-grade classrooms throughout the district.

An excerpt from Kosmicki’s and Skare’s essay:

“Some people may argue not to gift the money to this cause because 100 dollars is minimal considering what Puerto Rico needs, and this is true. The estimated cost to rebuild is well over 2 million dollars. However, we think we should receive this grant based on this underlying importance: every fragment contributes to the whole.”

An excerpt from Mehlin’s essay:

“I believe this organization should receive this grant more than others, because they serve the backbone of America. Their patients risk their lives for us to enjoy the life we currently live and take for granted...With only 144 VA hospitals and 300 VA centers, this organization needs as much money as it can get to help those in need. This institution helps a huge population with a wide range and growing amount of services. From home loans to healthcare, this money will be put to good use.”

The letter to Pound announcing the winners applauded the students for their research and writing skills. “Both applications exceeded expectations and were strong in unique ways,” the letter stated. “We hope you continue to pay attention to the world around you and use your voices to bring about change.”


Published: November 14, 2017, Updated: November 15, 2017

Pound Middle School students Isabella Skare, Adi Mehlin and Alexandra Kosmicki