HSLDA Contests: ART | ESSAY | PHOTO | POETRY | VIDEO
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Results of HSLDA's Third Annual Essay Contest

In its third year, the Home School Legal Defense Association Essay Contest drew applicants from several countries, including Mexico and New Zealand. Four hundred students sent in essays this year, and the eight judges were faced with the difficult task of choosing only six in each category.

"This year's essays were superb," said HSLDA President Mike Smith, "Homeschoolers continue to prove their writing abilities," he added.

"It was challenging to judge the essays because many of the ideas were original. The students wrote about things that I hadn't even thought about before reading the essays, and some of them even persuaded me to change my views on some issues," said one judge, a homeschool graduate herself.

This was the first year that the Essay Contest was open to non-HSLDA members. Six prizes were offered in each category, ranging from $400 to $25. The six winners in each age group are listed below.

In Category I, students from 12 to 15 wrote on the topic, "What one human invention do you believe has had the most significant impact on the present and why?" First place in this category goes to Jennie Guthrie for her essay on how the computer has changed the world for the better. In second place is Amanda McCrina, who described the impact of the camera.

For Category II, students from 16 to 18 had to discuss, "If you could speak to a political or cultural leader who lived from about 1750 to 1800, who would it be, why would you choose him or her, and what would you discuss?" The first place prize goes to Rachael Thomas from Texas, who imagined a conversation with her ancestor, John Adams. Second place was awarded to Faith Alessio from Michigan, who wrote about Jonathan Edwards, minister and president of Princeton University.

The most popular topics in Category I were the printing press (67) and the computer (32), while students in Category II wanted to talk to George Washington (14), Thomas Jefferson (9), and Benjamin Franklin (8). Click here for a complete list of topics students chose to address.

The proceeds from the contest will be given to the Home School Foundation Special Needs Fund.

Read the winning essays below: (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Finalists:
Category 1
1.  Jennie Lynne Guthrie (MO)
2.  Amanda Louise McCrina (GA)
3.  Leah Jordan Bigl (NY)
4.  Cole Tanner Adema (SD)
5.  Janelle Rose Beiler (AL)
6.  Megan J. Tinsley (KS)
Category 2
1.  Rachael Lynn Thomas (TX)
2.  Faith Marie Alessio (MI)
3.  Casey Lynette Morrow (MO)
4.  Noelle Annette Blankenship (VA)
5.  Grace Ann Lichlyter (AL)
6.  Kristen Joy Miller (OH)
Semifinalists:
Category 1
David Nathaniel Clay
Kendra Lynn Kilmer
Allana Katherine Hooker
Corina Janine Segar
Isaac B. Meadows
Olivia Lauren Wolcott
Robert Christopher Dixon
Alma Gabriela De Jesus
Lydia Claire Irion
Brittany Victoria Smith
Rena Katz
Ryan Paul Zacher
Amy Lynn Simon
Cathrin (Cati) Ellen Gerwitz
Kathryn Elise Ormsbee
Rosalie Catherine Jonker
Simon Lane Rostron
Amber Sue Gray
Bethany D. Sanderson
Chad Patrick Stembridge
Theresa Jean Moss
Category 2
Laura Megan Snipes
Emily Renee Marsh
Hannah Marie Braun
Nathaniel Nicholas Boyd
Anastasia Anstine Ealey
Caleb Alexander Harlin
Ashley Elizabeth Bricks
Audrey Engel
Neil Andrew Blake
Nika Puffe
Stephanie Wilkosz
Annalee Duncan
Rachel Ann LeFlore
Ashley Dawn Haymond
Rachel Lynn Ashbaugh
Topics:
Category 1
Agriculture
Air Conditioner
Airplanes
Alphabet
Anesthetics
Antibiotics
Assembly Line
Atomic Bomb
Automobile
Band-Aid
Boats and Ships
Broom
Camera
Cell phone
Clock
Communications Satellite Technology
Compact Disc
Computer
Constitution
Contraceptives and Abortion
Democracy
Digital photography
Edge
Electric generator
Electricity
Engine
Evolution
Firearms
Flight
Freedom
God
Gun
History Books
Internet
Kite
Laser
Lever
Light bulb
Mathematics
Microscope
Modern Day Medicine
Motion Picture
Music
News media
Nuclear Power
Paper
Pen
Pencil
Penicillin
Phonograph
Photography
Plastic
Plow
Plumbing
Printing Press
Robotic Arm
Roman Cross
Salvation
Satellite
Schools
Sin
Social Gospel
Space Shuttles
Steam Engine
Telegraph
Telephone
Television
Time machine
Tractors
Transistors
Ultrasound
Vaccine
War
Wheels
Writing
Category 2
Aaron Burr
Abigail Adams
Adam Smith
Alexander Hamilton
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Pickens
Beethoven
Benjamin Banneker
Benjamin Franklin
Catherine the Great
Edmund Burke
Eliza Lucas
Francis Marion
George Rogers Clark
George Washington
Gouvernur Morris
Harriet Tubman
Henry Clay
Henry Knox
James Madison
Jean Jacques Rousseau
John Adams
John Chapman
John Deere
John Dickinson
John Jay
John Marshall
John Muhlenberg
John Witherspoon
Jonathan Edwards
"King George, III"
King Kamehameha I
Maria Teresa
Marquis de Lafayette
Mercy Otis Warren
Meriwether Lewis
Michael Faraday
Mozart
Napoleon
Noah Webster
Patrick Henry
Paul Revere
Phillis Wheatley
Richard Henry Lee
Robert Yates
Robespierre
Samuel Adams
Sir William Blackstone
Thomas Gage
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Paine
Voltaire
William Carey
William Wilberforce