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Fort Dodge youths shine in Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy contests

More students should get involved in VFW program

A handful of Fort Dodge youths recently expressed their thoughts on what makes America great and won recognition from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1856 for doing so.

In the Patriots Pen competition for those in sixth through eighth grades, Abby Cook, 14, took first place. Other winners in that competition were Levi Odor-Westrum and Emily Chichester.

Jocelyn Timmerman won first place in the Voice of Democracy competition for high school students. Mackenzie Camden was runner-up in that competition.

Timmerman and Cook now advance to a district competition. Winners at the district level move on to a state contest. Winners from all 50 states then compete for the national prize, which is $5,000. There’s also an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national winner.

We wish Cook and Timmerman the best of luck as they advance in their respective competitions. We’d love to see both of them end up as national winners.

We also salute Odor-Westrum, Chichester and Camden for their efforts.

All of the local youths who entered this competition realize that they live in a great country and they are able to explain just what makes it great. That’s something a lot of adults would struggle to do.

The Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy competitions fuel the patriotism and enhance the communication skills of the young people who participate. We’d like to see even more students participating in them. Both competitions are annual events. We urge young people to give it a shot, and ask adults to give the kids in their lives a little encouragement to enter the competitions.

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