Essay Contest with South Dade Senior High School’s PTSA

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Brightseasons spoke at a PTSA meeting at South Dade Senior High, and we offered a contest to the students there. We explained who we were and what we were about. We offered to provide a prize to the first, second, and third place winners of an essay contest. After speaking about how important it is to do for others, to help people in their time of need, and the feeling you get in doing so, we told the entrants to go out into their community and do a good deed for someone and then write a paragraph about it. We are hoping that by doing so, not only are good deeds done throughout our community, but the experience and feeling these kids get and learn at such a young age can catapult into making a huge difference in their future path. We received quite a few entries but this young lady, Sara Marie Sagion, was our first place winner. She has won $250 “Buc Bucks” which she can use toward any activity she would like to attend. (Senior trip, Senior picnic, yearbook, etc.)

Congratulations to our second place winner, Dylan Cash, and third place winner, Selin Pichs for their wonderful good deeds as well! ($100 Buc Bucks and $50 Buc Bucs)

Thank you so much to all who participated and we hope you continue to do for others as we know you will receive far more blessings than you ever give away.

Here is Sara’s essay:

My most recent volunteer experience was at the Seafood Festival this past weekend, I was able to experience it with my mother. The two of us helped a nonprofit organization called “The Long Walk Home”. This organization aids veterans who have recently come home from combat, the organization focuses on giving these veterans a smooth transition while integrating back into the current society. I learned that numerous veterans come back home only to come home and lose all they once had to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), their jobs, family interactions, and even simple day to day tasks become incredibly difficult. These difficulties sadly have resulted in 22 veterans committing suicide every single day. I was absolutely shocked and deeply saddened when I found out that these brave people who protect our freedom, to pursue happiness, do not comeback to festivities and parades, instead they comeback to an ungrateful society that seems not to care about all of their sacrifices. My mother and I witnessed more than a handful of people at the seafood festival sharing their tragic stories of losing a loving loved one, stories that still bring tears to my eyes. My mother and I were able to sit next to and talk to the founder of the organization: Ronald Zaleski. My mother and I also had the pleasure to meet him and learn from his commitment, persistence and adventures. Between 2006 and 2007, Mr. Zaleski walked the entire Appalachian Trail, barefoot, wearing a sign with the statistic of how many veterans suicide daily at the time. At the time the sign read “18 vets commit suicide a day” Unfortunately, this statistic has gone up from 18 veterans to 22 veterans within the last 11 years. Mr. Zaleski still walks barefoot to this day, to bring awareness to this cause in hopes to reduce or even eliminate the horrible statistic that hunts us all. This volunteer experience taught me that with dedication, persistence and passion one person can truly change the world.