Student's essay tops in nation
Having been selected as the eighth-grade winner for the state of Oregon in the Daughters of the American Revolution's (DAR) American History Essay Contest earlier this year, Newberg student Rylie Hoskins was already pretty satisfied with her effort.
Because Eleanor Fuhrer, a member of the Yamhill County chapter and state chairwoman for the essay contest, hadn't heard anything further from the DAR Northwest Division, she figured that was the end of it as well.
For that reason, both Hoskins and Fuhrer were quite surprised to be informed that the Country Faith Christian Academy student had been selected as the national winner in the eighth-grade contest.
In addition to winning a $1,000 scholarship, Hoskins was invited to attend the DAR Continental Congress event in Washington, D.C., in June and read her essay in front of thousands of conference attendees.
"She had less than a month to prepare, but it was very exciting," Fuhrer said.
For this year's contest, students in fifth through eighth grades were given the theme, "World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars." Fuhrer said students were asked to imagine themselves living in 1918, the last year of the war, and write a first-person account that weighed the positive and negative impacts on the nation.
Hoskins set her essay in November 1918, just after the end of the war. She wrote about how the war offered women a chance to prove their worth and envisioned how life for them will change after the war.
She also considered how playing up stereotypes during the war might end up creating an unfair and overly-protective immigration policy.
As part of a national awards ceremony, Hoskins read her essay in front of 3,800 DAR members, and their guests, and received a medal and certificate from DAR President General Ann Turner Dillon.
"It was really cool," Hoskins said. "It wasn't as frightening as I thought it was going to be, but it was a lot of people."
Fuhrer said that Hoskins is the second essay contest winner from both Yamhill County and Oregon in recent memory. Fuhrer was unable to attend the conference after learning that Hoskins had won, but received glowing reports from other Oregon DAR members who did.
"I got an email that night from a lady in Albany that said she did a beautiful job and represented us so well," Fuhrer said.