Rockland High School Voice of Democracy Contest winners received awards at a ceremony at the VFW on January 5. From left: Old Colony Post 1788 Commander Joe Pollini; RHS freshman Jad Bendarkawi, 2nd place winner; Rockland High School Principal John Harrison; RHS senior Sophie McLellan, 3rd place winner; Scholarship Committee Chairman, Claire Payne; RHS sophomore Meaghan McDonough, 1st place winner; and Old Colony Post 1788 Voice of Democracy Chairman Jeffrey Najarian. Veritas photo
Veritas Staff Report
Some students in David Murphy’s Digital Media and Journalism classes may not have been excited about an essay assignment last November in which they had to write on the theme, “My Responsibility to America.”
But, for three students it paid off… literally.
Three students were awarded first, second and third place prizes by the Rockland Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Old Colony Post 1788 in the local “Voice of Democracy” competition.
First prize ($150) went to sophomore Meaghan McDonough, second ($100) to freshman Jad Bendarkawi, and third ($50) to senior Sophie McLellan.
Voice of Democracy is an annual nationwide scholarship program sponsored by the VFW. It is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12. This year’s theme was “My Responsibility to America.” Students were required to write an essay and then do a voice recording of it. Tapes and essays were sent to the local VFW Post judges.
McDonough’s winning essay went on to the Eastern Mass. District 12 Regional round of judging where it was awarded second place.
VFW Post 1788 Commander Joe Pollini. and Voice of Democracy Chairman Jeffrey Najarian presented the certificates along with scholarship committee chairwoman, Claire Payne.
Meaghan McDonough came in first in the VFW Voice of Democracy contest. Her speech also was awarded first place in the Southeastern Mass. district and will now be judged at the state level. McDonough is a sophomore at Rockland High School. Her entry was sponsored by David Murphy, teacher and director of WRPS at Rockland High. Left is Old Colony Post 1788 Commander Joe Pollini and Voice of Democracy Chairman, Jeffrey Najarian. Veritas photo
Jad Bendarkawi, a freshman at Rockland High School received a 2nd place award in the Voice of Democracy contest sponsored by the VFW. With Jad is Old Colony Post 1788 Voice of Democracy Chairman Jeffrey Najarian. Veritas photo
Rockland High School senior Sophie McLellan placed third in the Voice of Democracy contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Old Colony Post 1788 Voice of Democracy Chairman Jeffrey Najarian and scholarship committee chairman, Claire Payne presented McLellan with a scholarship award at a ceremony on January 5 at the VFW hall in Rockland. Veritas photo