Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School Principal Brent Conway is pleased to announce that eighth grade student Ruby Robicheau placed third in the statewide level of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Patriot’s Pen Essay competition.
Open to students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, the annual writing contest asks applicants to share their views on American history and their own experiences in society by responding to a chosen theme. This year’s topic was “America’s Gift to My Generation.”
Robicheau titled her essay “The Greatest Gift from America to My Generation” and wrote about the eagle, which symbolizes the right to equal education, liberty and justice through the Constitution. She also spoke of the opportunities veterans created through their sacrifices.
The contest is held at the local, regional, state and national levels. The first level is sponsored by local VFW Posts. Post winners advance, one for every 15 entries, to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner is advanced to the VFW Department (state) level.
Melrose VFW Post 2394 sponsored Robicheau in the contest. After moving through the local and regional levels, she became one of 1,722 essays submitted across 55 VFW posts throughout Massachusetts.
“This is very exciting, and is the highest any middle school student from Melrose has placed in this competition,” Conway said. “We want to thank VFW Post 2394 for giving our students the opportunity to participate.”
Robicheau’s entry earned her third place and $500 at the state level. She was honored at an awards banquet on Jan. 21 at the Double Tree Hotel in Milford.
The VFW and Auxiliary granted more than $17,500 to district winners for the Patriot’s Pen, Voice of Democracy and Teacher of the Year awards.
“It was daunting realizing that everyone was looking at me at the head table, but it was also exciting to see everyone honoring educators for their hard work,” Robicheau said about her experience at the awards banquet.