On the 231st anniversary of the United States Bill of Rights ratification, the Herzog Foundation is proud to announce the following winners of the 2022 Bill of Rights essay contest:
- Jake Starkey (Northland Christian School – Kansas City, MO) – Middle School Winner
- Emily Tannel (St. Augustine School – Colgate, WI) – High School Winner
The Herzog Foundation is also proud to announce the following runners up:
- Benjamin Allen (Delaware Christian School – Delaware, OH) – Middle School Runner Up
- Elijah Conant (Northside Christian School – Westerville, OH) – Middle School Runner Up
- Olivia Shapro (Valley Christian School – Osceola, WI) – Middle School Runner Up
- Hollis Speck (Our Savior Christian Academy – Smithville, MO) – Middle School Runner Up
- Ben Spencer (Cornerstone Academy – Warsaw, MO) – Middle School Runner Up
- Seth Spencer (Cornerstone Academy – Warsaw, MO) – High School Runner Up
- Jack Wedlake (Logos Preparatory Academy – Sugar Land, TX) – High School Runner Up
“The Bill of Rights was ratified over 230 years ago and still stands as a beacon for our most fundamental rights as Americans,” said Herzog Foundation Chairman Todd Graves. “It’s crucial that all young students understand the significance of this founding document.”
All middle school and high school students currently enrolled in a Christian school or homeschool were eligible to participate in the essay contest. Each winner and their school received a $250 award from the Herzog Foundation. Additionally, each runner up and their school received a $100 award.
“Too many young people are losing sight of the civic values that characterize American democracy,” said Herzog Foundation President Darrell Jones. “Many families and schools even shy away from celebrating our country and founding documents. This is unacceptable. At the Herzog Foundation, we want to reward the students and schools that not only recognize our fundamental American beliefs, but celebrate them as well.”
Essay contestants were asked to answer the following prompt in three pages or less: What made the Bill of Rights so revolutionary and unique when it was ratified? How has the Bill of Rights shaped our country?
“In creating the Constitution, it was decided that the founding fathers would write each amendment with the idea that the government should not have full control. Even so, today all of these rights are constantly under attack by corporations like media and news outlets, which is why it is important to remember the first amendment. This amendment gives me the pride to know that this idea of a truly free country has influenced the entire world,” said Middle School Winner Jake Starkey.
“The Bill of Rights remains the center of the Constitution and symbol of rights, and now to save them America needs to learn to value and respect it and all that it stands for. To do this, everyone needs to learn about the Constitution and why it is so valuable, because the biggest way to fight against this encroachment of our rights is to learn about what our rights are,” said High School Winner Emily Tannel.
“If you had to create a future world superpower, what would you use to express the well needed rights of the citizens? If you were our founding fathers it would look like this: first of all, the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press, and governmental petition. Second, a well-regulated militia and freedom for civilians to own and operate weapons,” said Middle School Runner Up Benjamin Allen.
“Did you know that 230 years ago there was a compromise that is still important to this day? The compromise was the revolutionary Bill of Rights which is the most important document written in America. The Bill of Rights is such a unique document because we have rights unlike other countries,” said Middle School Runner Up Elijah Conant.
“In my opinion, the most important amendments in the Bill of Rights are the first and second amendment. Although I find these to be the most important of the amendments, every one of the amendments gives Americans an important liberty. Without all of these freedoms, America wouldn’t be much different from any other country. These rights have shaped America to be a country that emphasizes freedom and individual rights. This comes to show that God has blessed America, and has an important plan for it,” said Middle School Runner Up Olivia Shapro.
“We can be grateful for the sacrifice of many Americans for the freedom we have now. Even in our ups and downs, the Bill of Rights gave everyone a chance and no matter what society brings upon us, we can always rely on knowing we’re free. The Bill of Rights is not only a set of rules but a way to be free,” said Middle School Runner Up Hollis Speck.
“The spirit of Christianity has marked the United States since its beginning. The Bill of Rights was the capstone of the United States Constitution. It was built upon the Biblical concept of protecting the rights that God has given every individual,” said Middle School Runner Up Ben Spencer.
“The story of freedom does not end with the present. The story must continue. America has always been just one generation away from tyrannical rule. America has always been threatened with tyranny. Every up-and-coming generation must have a desire and a passion to keep the American dream alive and the heart of freedom beating,” said High School Runner Up Seth Spencer.
“While we take it for granted now, the life we experience is the result of blood, sweat, and tears. The Bill of Rights’ concepts concerning limited government were revolutionary for its time, and the liberties bestowed are the cause for the country we live in today. People died achieving these freedoms, people died protecting these freedoms, and people are dying to realize these freedoms,” said High School Runner Up Jack Wedlake.
About the Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation
The Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation is a charitable foundation dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating the development of quality Christ-centered K-12 education so that families and culture flourish.
Learn more at HerzogFoundation.com