BEAVERCREEK — Having finished fourth in a previous VFW-sponsored writing contest, Jennifer Page wasn’t expecting much this time around.
“My first experience with it, it was fourth place,” the Coy Middle School eighth grader said.
But then the phone rang and her outlook changed.
At the other end of the conversation was former Beavercreek teacher Georgie Rosier informing Page’s father, Rob, that his daughter had not only won the local (VFW Beavercreek Memorial Post 8312) Patriot’s Pen writing contest, but she won the district contest as well and had her essay entered into the state-wide competition.
“I was a little bit surprised but mostly excited,” Page, 13, said. “I guess I wasn’t expecting so much (writing) growth.”
But it gets better.
Page’s essay on the topic “America’s Gift to My Generation” was deemed the second best out of thousands considered in Ohio. She and the other two top three finishers were invited to the Ohio VFW’s mid-winter meeting in Independence Jan. 20 where the final placers were announced.
“I was like shocked actually,” she said. “It was kind of a lot to take in. It’s just really incredible. Back in the hotel room we were all really excited. There were several minutes of hugging.”
Page’s essay, limited to 300-400 words, likened America to a tree.
“If America were a tree, every leaf would be an individual on a branch of opportunity, supported by a trunk of freedom and held fast in the ground by roots of courage. With time, the old leaves fall, and are replaced by bright green buds as the roots reach deeper, the trunk grows wider, and the branches stretch higher,” her piece began.
It goes on to talk about bravery displayed by the country’s founding fathers, and all veterans in general.
“I was pretty proud of it,” she said. “(But) I was still looking for ways to improve it.”
According to Rob Page, the difference between first and second was a few decimal places.
“(Rosier) was just gushing over this,” he said. “I was surprised to hear that kind of praise being heaped on.”
For her effort, Page received monetary awards totaling $1,550, a plaque, an American flag and a proclamation from Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone.
Her essay wasn’t just words on a paper. Having a grandfather, Duane Page, who served in World War II, has made Jennifer Page extremely patriotic.
“I have the utmost respect for the veterans,” she said. “They really deserve to be respected.”
Page’s prowess with the pen began due to her love of reading.
“I just kind of developed it as I got older,” she said.
Page also entered a Power of the Pen contest and was among the top 50 writers in Ohio after finishing in first place in two of three rounds.
She is uncertain if she will make it a full-time career when she get’s older because its a field saturated with talent. But Page knows she has that special knack even if she won’t admit it.
“She doesn’t like to brag,” Rob Page said.
Instead, she let’s her contest results do it for her.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.