Samantha Floyd, 16, of Canyon City won first place in the state Americanism essay state contest for Division IV, which includes grades 9-10.
She won the local contest, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Ellis Tracy Unit 77, last spring.
Floyd will be a junior at Grant Union when school starts later this month.
Sherry Feiger, who is the local essay co-chairman with Jessie Lewis, presented Floyd with a certificate of award on Aug. 8, with Samantha’s parents Greg and Joelene Floyd present.
This year’s essay contest included 227 entries from Grant School District 3 students in grades 3-12, Feiger said, noting there were just 89 entries last year.
In Samantha’s essay, she wrote about the importance of each American doing their part.
“We, as citizens, must be what we want our country to be,” she wrote. “America has been built on many foundation beliefs, something that I would consider as ‘Americanism.’ These beliefs include: integrity, hard work, motivation and the ability to want to better oneself.”
Floyd wrote her essay while in English teacher Kristi Moore’s class.
“I think a lot of times students don’t take the time to appreciate the country because they’re focusing on their own lives and not what our country has done to give them the lives that they have,” Floyd said. “I think it’s important to be a positive example of Americanism because in this day and age a lot of people focus on the negative aspects of politics when it comes to our country — there is so much more than that.”