A variety of inspirational sources – from a grandparent and a World War II veteran to the joy of discovering a new talent and the struggles of overcoming obstacles – have helped many local teens discover the laws of life by which they intend to follow. Earlier this year, hundreds of these motivating essays were submitted to The School for Ethical Education (SEE) for the thirteenth annual Laws of Life statewide essay contest. The top ten Connecticut finalists were selected in late spring and celebrated their incredible accomplishment at Amarante’s inNew Haven on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Among the winners was Nico, a student of The Glenholme School and the writer of the award-winning essay entitled, “The Box.”
Nico’s heartfelt essay focused on his personal struggle with the symptoms and difficulties caused by Asperger’s. While many are motivated by role models, Nico has his box, in which he holds motivation, perseverance, and certitude. Of these three things, he writes “are my saviors, my guardians, the helping hands when climbing the tallest of mountains. They are more than just attributes … they are my best friends and they help me reach the goals that I thought were unreachable.”
If you were asked, “What are your laws of life?” What might you write about?
After you reflect on this, you realize this is not a simple question. And this is precisely what students must do when they participate in the Laws of Life Essay Contest. The best part is every answer is correct and in order to succeed, the contestants must reflect deeply about what they think matters most in life. Two dozen students of The Glenholme School, including Nico, did just that; they identified a value, or law of life, then related it to their personal experiences.
Seven finalists were selected from the Glenholme participants and each had their essay officially entered into the statewide competition. All the essay contestants of Glenholme were honored at a formal dinner on campus, and Nico along with his friend, Matt, also celebrated Nico’s incredible achievement with the other winners at the statewide Laws of Life Celebration in early May.
The Laws of Life essay contest is part of the community service program at The Glenholme School. Chrissy Steward, the school’s community service coordinator, noted, “The Laws of Life writing program has been an effective tool in assisting the students on reflection and thought. Community service is a big part of our school and this gives each of them the opportunity to give back to someone on a personal level in their own way.” She continued, “It is amazing to see each student grow as an individual and become more aware of the positive influence one person can be.”
The Laws of Life essay contest gives young people in grades 5-12 the unique opportunity to write, reflect and discuss the values that they believe will help them to live successful and productive lives. The Laws of Life statewide essay writing program is administered by The School for Ethical Education (SEE). SEE’s mission is to encourage learning experiences that foster positive character and promote responsible and caring communities – an effort that coincides ideally with The Glenholme School’s core values and community effort. For more information, visit SEE’s website at www.ethicsed.org and click on the Laws of Life link.