Students win money for college with best patriotic essays, Barlow junior gets top prize

OUTLOOK PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Jacob Nonamaker, Sophis Gilpin and Paige Carkner received scholarships from the Gresham Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 180. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 180 in Gresham handed out scholarships to three students last week who won by writing the best patriotic essay or speech.

"Thanks to everyone for your essays and speeches. They honor the veterans and those serving today," post commander Frank West told the students at the meeting on Wednesday, March 7.

Jacob Nonamaker, a 16-year-old junior at Barlow High School and the Center for Advanced Learning won first place in the patriotic speech writing contest on the assigned theme of "Why My Vote Matters."

Nonamaker took home a check for $250. He hopes to become a dentist but hasn't considered which college he might attend. He also placed in the VFW writing contest his freshman year.

Sophia Gilpin, 16, a sophomore at Clackamas Middle College in Happy Valley, earned second place with her speech and a check for $200. She aspires to a career in foreign service in the U.S. Department of State and looking at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., or Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

These students will compete to win a $30,000 scholarship in the national VFW Voice of Democracy contest, which is open to students in the ninth through 12th grades.

Paige Carkner, 14, who attends Gardiner Middle School in Oregon City won $150 with her essay on the theme, "Why I Honor the American Flag." She will be in the running for a $5,000 national VFW prize.

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