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Anna Trub:
2008 Winner
Bayside High School

Anna Trub

Winning Essay

A new age has dawned upon the United States of America. Hillary Clinton, a women and Barack Obama, an African American are making history as they vie for the Democratic nomination. Ten years ago no one could have imagined that the two Democratic front runners would be a female and an African America. The stereotypes and prejudices of the past are being broken and the American people are changing. The country has come to a pivotal point and the next President has the ability to create a future full of prospect for the American people. As the new President comes to office they must immediately deal with the highly criticized war in Iraq, the failing economy, and education. The choices made by the future President will have an impact not only on the United States but on the entire world.

As the war on terror wages on, the next President has the difficult decision to either continue fighting or to begin the withdrawal of troops. Many people are against the war, but there is no telling what the consequences will be if American troops leave immediately. All the progress that has been made in the past several years can all be destroyed and the country may spiral out of control when left to its own devices. No matter what the ultimate decision will be this issue must be addressed. Simply leaving things as they currently are can lead to turmoil. If the war continues, more troops will be needed and that may result in a draft. It is the duty of the future President to lay out a clear plan regarding the war for all the young people voting in the 2008 election. If the war continues and more troops are necessary, it will be today’s high school and college students that will be wearing a uniform and putting their lives on the line to protect the United States.

Furthermore, the future President will have to address issues regarding the economy. For the past several months there have been constant fears of a recession as the stock continues to fall. It is vital to stabilize the economy in order to insure that the disaster of the Great Depression never occurs again. Simply hoping that the economy will recover can prove to be disastrous. People will begin to loose their jobs, they won’t be able to pay for their homes or buy goods, and this will eventually lead to government loosing money and not being able to provide basic necessities for the people. If the United States heads into a recessions all will be affected, the young, the old, the rich and the poor. If the tax rebate that has recently been approved has no effect, the next President will have the responsibility of preventing another Black Friday from occurring.

The War in Iraq and Economy are pressing issues that must be immediately addressed but another issue that must not be forgotten is education. America is one of the richest nations in the world, yet in the past years the level of education has been falling. International studies have shown that American students fall behind in areas of math and science when compared with their peers in other countries. Many students are being passed from grade to grade without ever learning to read and write properly. Furthermore, only about 70% of all students graduate high school, and only 32% of them are qualified to attend a four year college. Most of the problems are most prevalent in inner city schools where overcrowding and security issues has prevented students from receiving the education their peers are getting in suburban schools. Many schools are severely under funded and conditions are so poor that there are holes in walls, rodent infestations, and not enough desks for all the students. The future President has a responsibility to the children of today to improve the educational system. The children are the future of this country and if education is not improved the future leaders will be uneducated and incapable of governing this country. Investing in education is investing in the future of the country and the American people.

In addition, as the next President enters office stem cell research, poverty, and the rights of illegal immigrants must be part of the long term plan. Stem cell research has the potential to save and improve the lives of millions of people. Volunteering in hospitals, I have witnessed first hand the horrors that people who are left paralyzed after horrific accidents are left to face. In a second a person can go from being perfectly healthy to being paralyzed from the neck down. Stem cell research has the potential to help these people and alter their lives forever. People such as Christopher Reeve spent their lives donating money and hoping for the miracle that stem cell research can bring them. Stem cell research may one day allow a quadriplegic to walk again. Increased funding is essential for further development in this area.

Another issue that must be addressed is poverty. In 2006 the percent of people living in poverty increased from a 26 year low of 11.3% to 12.3%. This means that about 36.5 million people are living below the poverty line. The United States needs to ensure that every family has enough food to put on the table. No child should ever know the feeling of starvation or witness their parents struggle to provide them with a simple meal. The issues surrounding poverty cannot be resolved in a day, yet it is not something that can simply be ignored. Every single one of the 36 million living in poverty is a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, or a friend. Another issue that must be addressed in the future is the rights of illegal immigrants who are already living in the country. For example many children of illegal immigrants are unable to attend school because they have no proof of address. These children are not responsible for the actions of their parents and should have the opportunity to receive an education. Simply ignoring these children will only lead to more problems. These children will eventually grow into adults and the education they are provided with today will determine whether or not they will be successful in the future.

The United States has come a long way since the days of our founding fathers. Times have changed and so have the people. The issues facing the future President are both difficult and diverse. They range from stem cell research to the war in Iraq. America is at a pivotal point and each decision has many consequences. Whoever is elected must be prepared to make some hard choices that can ultimately change the future of this country. The President has the unique ability to make a difference in the lives of the masses; the actions of the future President will affect the future of this country for years to come.

Biography

My name is Anna Trub and I was born on February 15, 1990 in Vinnitsa, a small town in Ukraine. I spent the first six years of my life in Ukraine, attended kindergarten and learned to speak both Russian and Ukrainian fluently. In 1996 my family made the difficult decision to move to the United States in the hopes of providing me with a better future. My first year in America was an experience that I will never forget. I didn’t speak a word of English and going to school seemed like a nightmare. I remember coming home from school crying everyday because no one wanted to talk to me. Meanwhile my parents also struggled to learn the language, while working seven days a week trying to provide for our family. Through it all however, my parents got through school and proved that with hard work anything is possible.

I learned English fairly quickly and by the third grade I remember my teachers telling my parents that I was reading at a fifth grade level. The more I read, the more I began to recognize the power of words. I began to write short stories and poems, several of which were published in Anthology of Young Poets and Writers. By the time I was in sixth grade I was editor of my school newspaper and my teacher recommended that I participate in the Ezra Jack Keats book making competition. A friend and I decided to collaborate on a book we named the A Scar in Perfection which turned out to be 300 pages. That year we won the Ezra Jack Keats book making competition and received an award in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In April 2001, at the age of eleven, my life changed forever. While on vacation in Mexico on a beautiful sunny day my father passed away in a drowning accident as I watched helplessly in the water right beside him. For a long time I blamed myself for my father’s death. My mother was left all alone, to pay the bills and to raise me. As I watched her I gained strength and realized that either I would let this accident take over my life, or I would find the strength to move forward, and make the most of the time that I have been given. In the years since I have lost my father I have grown to realize that my future is in my hands. As I entered High School I excelled in my classes and pushed myself as far as I could go. I was put on the National Honor Roll and won an honorable mention and the Model United Nations Conference in NYC.

I live each day trying to make my self the best person that I can possibly be, and my fervent hope is that my father is proud of the person that I have grown to become. My parents deserve the credit for all my successes, without their undivided love and support I wound not be the person that I’m. Furthermore, my mother has been my rock and in the past seven years has gotten me through some of the darkest moments of my life. She is an unbelievable women and the strongest person that I know. If not for her guidance and unrelenting devotion I would not be where I am today.

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