Rotary Club announces Laws of Life winners

Published 2:55 pm Friday, April 10, 2020

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The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest announced local school and grade winners for the 2019-2020 contest. Rotary Club of Bainbridge partners with Bainbridge High School for the contest.

“As English teachers, this is one of our favorite activities of the year,” said Dr. Heidi Chambers, English Department Chair at the school. “We learn so much about our students through this essay. We appreciate Bainbridge Rotary continuing to support us in this endeavor.”

Mackenzie Pickle is named school winner and 12th grade winner. Aubrey Hill is named 10th grade winner. Honorable mention student writers include Japera Dallas (9th), Brennyn Timmons (9th), Madelyn Lowe (9th), Charleston Reese Godby (9th), Rylan Bland (9th), Kooper Kearns (10th), Paige Overman (10th), Jared Davis (10th), Davonte Stepney (10th), Kaitlin Floyd (11th), Gracie Sellars (11th), Joshua Robinson (11th), Hayden Martin (11th), Yamaria Kincaid (11th),  Piper Harrell (12th), Carol Kirkland (12th), Benjamin Miller (12th), and Marlee Powell (12th)

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Rotary Club of Bainbridge has partnered with Bainbridge High School on the contest for 14 years.

“I really appreciate how the program allows the student to reflect on their life experiences and the lessons they learn through these experiences,” said Rotarian Tommie Howell, who serves as contest chair for the club. “We all have a story, and Laws of Life encourages the students to realize that their stories do matter.”

For the 2019-2020 contest, a total of 43,506 students wrote essays, Georgia Laws of Life and 50 participating Rotary clubs throughout the state awarded over $20,000 in cash prizes.

Awards go to 164 school winners and grade winners from 72 high schools. Additional students receive honorable mention recognition.

“Each and every student who wrote their person Law of Life essay is to be commended, their reflections are uplifting, inspiring and a peek inside today’s youth” said Carol Gray, Executive Director of Georgia Laws of Life. This year, due to school closings and Rotary club meeting cancelations Georgia Laws of Life will recognize in social media winning students reading their essays.

Rotary clubs across Georgia conduct the Laws of Life Essay Contest through the nonprofit Georgia Rotary Districts Character Education Program, Inc (GRDCEP).  Rotary Clubs members volunteer to read and judge essays, serve on the contest’s Board of Directors, and volunteer their professional expertise to help build character and ethical literacy among students.

“The essay contest is an opportunity for Rotary clubs to display their motto, ‘service above self’ with local students and schools” Gray commented.

Since 1999, the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest has impacted over 750,000 students. Inspired by the power of simple quotes, or Laws of Life, Sir John Templeton established the writing competition in the 1970s to encourage young people to embrace the wisdom of these sayings, which he believed when followed helps everyone live their best lives. In their essays, students use a law to reflect on values that mean the most to them – values such as generosity, courage, perseverance, honesty, integrity, and compassion. Teachers at participating Georgia schools select the best work from among their students to enter into the contest.

The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest is made possible through the support of local Rotary Clubs, individual donors, corporations and a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.