Fox Chapel Area sophomore wins essay contest
Fox Chapel Area sophomore Rama Godse decided on a whim to enter an essay contest and to her surprise, got to read her award-winning work to former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.
“One day I didn't have a lot of homework, so I thought I might as well enter,” the 15-year-old said of the civics-themed essay contest sponsored by St. Barbabas Charities.
“I was really excited to find out that I won.”
Rama took first-place in the contest, for which she wrote a 500-word essay on how veterans at St. Barnabus played a role in protecting homeland security.
Contestants had to consider that the Department of Homeland Security was officially created in response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
However, protecting the safety of American citizens has always been the priority of the military.
“I feel very passionately about topics like this,” Rama said. “Not only do veterans secure our nation physically, but also ideologically,” she said. “They preserve our values and our ideas through their actions.”
Sponsored in conjunction with St. Barbabas Charities 113th Founder's Day, the contest was open to all high school students in western Pennsylvania. Submissions were judged by a panel of outside experts.
Rama, a member of the high school's forensics team and Future Business Leaders of America, was invited to read her essay to Ridge, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
He was among an audience of veterans at St. Barnabus during the Founder's Day celebration last week who served as an inspiration to Rama, she said.
“They were all very welcoming and had a lot of encouraging words to say.”
A Vietnam veteran, Ridge served as the 43rd Pennsylvania governor prior to his appointment with the federal government. He was awarded the Hance Award, St. Barnabas Health System's highest honor, at the ceremony.
“He referenced my speech during his,” Rama said. “It was just really incredible.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- O’Hara spinning event to benefit Pittsburgh autism center
- Indiana Township bridge over turnpike to close March 30
- Search for police chief in Aspinwall moves forward
- Art show to help fund Sharpsburg mural
- Chabad Fox Chapel to house preschool starting September
- Leaf collection begins March 30 in O’Hara