Picayune Junior High Student wins essay contest
Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2017
Picayune Junior High Student Cherish Barber was surprised to find out she won a local essay contest during the school’s annual awards ceremony Friday afternoon.
At 13-years-old, Barber entered the contest sponsored by DN Orthodontics. The contest tasked entrants to write an essay about ways the community could improve. In all, 500 applicants submitted essays and it was difficult to choose just one winner, said DN Orthodontics representative Cathy Katsorchis.
Barber was awarded a $500 scholarship for her essay about teen suicide and the importance of opening a dialogue about the issue in schools.
She said she was inspired to write about the topic after several teenage suicides occurred in the area last year.
Barber’s 8th grade English Teacher Tamara Pope said the school’s principal, James Williams, thought the contest would be good for the students’ real-world education.
The contest allowed them to focus on an individual or things lacking in the community that could help make it better, Pope said.
“It means everything,” Barber said about receiving the award.
She said she hopes to use the funds to attend art school.
“She writes very well and very detailed,” Pope said. “She always goes above and beyond. If I ask her to write three sentences, she will give me 10.”
In addition to Barber’s $500 scholarship, DN Orthodontics also donated $500 for teacher appreciation purposes.
During the annual ceremony, a number of students also received awards from the Picayune Woman’s Club member Laurie Stockstill and Picayune Daughter’s of the American Revolution member Pat Formby.
The school also issued awards to student athletes, outstanding sportsmen and to students for perfect attendance.