By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Six Ceres student essayists honored at Masonic Lodge dinner
The writing skills of six students attending Ceres schools won accolades in the Ceres Masonic Lodge's annual Essay Contest.

The six students and their teachers and parents were treated to a special dinner held Tuesday, April 17 at the Masonic Lodge in Ceres.

Winners of the essay contest, which was themed, "Educating for Progress" were:

• Luis Trujillo, a Walter White School sixth-grader, first place;

• Madeline Lopez, Adkison Elementary School fifth-grader, second place;

• Amy Nguyen, an eighth-grader at Blaker-Kinser Junior High School, first place;

• Jojo Cambosa, a Whitmore Charter eighth-grader, second place;

• Esteban Villafan, a Central Valley High School sophomore, first place;

• Anthony Stavrianondakis, a Central Valley High School senior, second place.

Each student read their essay after enjoying dinner.

Luis Trujillo wrote: "In today's world, the economy is bad and a lot of people are unemployed. Most of our community is without a job because they didn't complete school and decided to end their education for reasons we may never know. Having an education is really important. Education can open many doors in the work force so we don't have to struggle to find a job."

Madeline Lopez ended her essay, noting: "My education now is preparing me to be responsible to become a teacher or a counselor. It is preparing me with all the subjects I learn. The most important to me is I am learning to work with different people. I know that when I grow up I will have good and bad experiences, but as I am growing I am preparing myself for the future."

The essay written by Amy Nguyen noted how she is pushing herself to rank the highest in her class but participate in events that stretch her, such as the Science Olympiad. She wrote, in part: "Education is the foundation to building a successful future by allowing us to develop a better understanding of the opportunities in the world. I'm not only put into an environment that tests my academic abilities through class work and tests, but also one that allows me to discover my strength in different fields, through electives or school activities. Education shows me the skills and knowledge I possess through a diverse variety of classes, a competitive environment and teachers who help to enhance my abilities."

In his essay, Jojo Cambosa wrote "...if you want to succeed, you must seize the chance of receiving the best education available to you. Sure, you can be the person who pushes a few buttons and asks if you would like a side of fries with your order, but for me I choose to dream of one day becoming a CEO of my own company. Achieving goals like mine can happen by allowing yourself to open new doors by education to reveal new paths and opportunity for your life. Only you are in control of guiding your life down to where you decide the destination is. However, getting there requires the aspect of education in your life; which if you build upon, allows you to be able to reach new heights and dream bigger of your future."

Esteban Villafan wrote: "Not only will education prepare someone for the near future but even 15 years from now too. After high school and collegiate years, it is probable that someone with a good education will earn a good career. Because people can get a job with minimal skills and a high school diploma, it is rare that a person has a career rather than a job. However, this can change when an individual gains a profound education and sets high standards for themselves professionally. Education is based on allowing adolescents to decide their future and helping them on their pathway to it."

Anthony Stavrianondakis stated education works because of motivation. "Though educational motivation may begin at an extrinsic level during which participation could be linked simply to achieve some kind of award or to avoid punishment, there comes a point when an individual becomes intrinsically motivated, a time in which the individual begins to actively participate in their education to further better themselves."