TKMS Students Advance In Elks Essay Contest

TKMS students earning awards are sixth graders Matalie Underhill, Emery Cisler, and Manuel Lope-Tapia; seventh-graders Exley Roon and Chayse Meek. Members of the Elks Lodge of Hastings presented certificates to each of the students recently.

Representatives from Elks Lodge in Hastings judged the local student essays and presented awards to each of the student winners recently. “TK has always come through with winning essays,” said Alma Czinder from the Hastings Elks.

The five students each wrote about their own American dreams. “My American Dream is for everyone to be accepted and have equal opportunities. As a black girl, these are challenges that I know I may face. Currently, I feel I am accepted and have equal opportunities, but I am aware that this is not the case in all places for people my age and especially adults. I have seen other people be excluded because of their differences,” wrote Roon.

Meek also wrote about the need for equality. “Equality is something that everyone needs to learn how to respect and honor because giving equality to people means that they can respect and give equality back to you. The American Dream is to have the will to get success with all of the opportunities.”

Cisler wrote about having dreams for happiness, freedom and kindness. “My way of happiness is to know that people out there love me and support me. I’m adopted and know that many people love me and support me through grief and joyous moments.” 

She includes freedom as something in her American Dream. “Freedom to me is being able to go to school and knowing that I don’t have to worry about any sort of race criticism or gender criticism. I also know that there is a safe place almost everywhere.”

Underhill wrote about her personal dream for her future. “My American dream is to become a teacher. …The main thing I want my kiddos to learn is that having a positive attitude is a big change to your day. When you walk into my room someday, I expect my students to come in with a confident and positive attitude. If you walk in confident for a test and are happy to come to school, that will make your day better and mine also because I know you’re happy to be here.”

She concluded, “When I become a teacher, I will make sure my students get the education they need to succeed. When I become a teacher, I will be helpful, polite, creative and courteous.”

Lopez-Tapia said his American dream is much more than a nice house, fancy car and happy family. “All I want is for everyone to be fed, happy and treated equally. Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of having parents that love me and care for me.”

He said he hopes to open a place one day where “kids can be fed, happy and never be bored. Also, I want to open a place where homeless people have a warm bed to sleep in, clean clothes to wear and good food to fill their stomachs.”

He concluded by saying, “All of my dreams can be achieved because America has the strongest economy and has a lot of freedom.”