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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 2 years ago

Area students win county writing competition

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Joshua Scherer and Farrah Diogene topped their respective divisions in the Orange County Week of the Family Essay Contest.
by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

WEST ORANGE COUNTY  Future writers for your community newspaper could be blossoming right before your eyes as two local students achieved first place in a county-wide writing competition.

In celebration of families, Orange County officials recently hosted their Week of the Family Essay Contest.

The contest included four divisions: high school, middle school, grades 3 to 5 and kindergarten through second grade.

Gotha Middle School seventh-grader Farrah Diogene and Thornebrooke Elementary first-grader Joshua Scherer penned winning essays within the theme, “My Family Is Strong Because.”

Joshua wrote about the love displayed in help he has received with school work and playing the piano.

“It is important that my family helps me with homework/school because then I can get it right,” Joshua wrote. “If I get (my) homework right, then my brain will get smarter. If I get smarter, then I can do my homework by myself. If I do all of these things, then I can have a good job when I am older.”

Joshua wrote how learning piano notes could lead to playing a nice song in his home and how being loved could lead to him wanting to love others in return.

Farrah admitted from the start no family ever has been perfect.

“I cannot really say that my family should be awarded family of the year award,” she wrote. “But what I can say is that we care about each other and that we’ve been through a lot.”

Her grandmother’s death has taught Farrah how one member can hold a family together, as well as how sticking together amid it all builds strength, she wrote.

Farrah Diogene received an award from Mayor Jacobs for her top essay.

“My family was like a bunch of unorganized papers sitting around,” she wrote. “My grandmother was the paper clip that held us all together. Once she died in 2011, that paperclip disappeared and we were all … different. Once my parents got separated, a lot of things changed.”

Farrah and her three siblings express feelings in writing and similar practices, which has helped them and their mother to emerge fine, she wrote. 

“So I guess my family is strong,” she wrote. “We went through a lot but we’re still here.”

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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