The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Carlo Lindo:
2005 Winner
Long Island City High School

Carlo Lindo

Winning Essay

Democracy has been America’s form of government for well over three hundred years. “Ruled by the people, for the people,” one author wrote; and that is just what a democracy is: a government powered by the loyalty, faith, and strength of millions of patriotic men and women. We as Americans feel that a democracy is the best and most suitable form of government, but there are other countries that are not as fortunate to be part of a democratic society. I, personally, am proud to say that I am an American citizen, protected by a democratic government.

To me, a democracy is a way for the people, all the people, to get their opinion heard and ensure their well-being. A democracy is a guarantee of freedoms, rights, and opportunities. As compared to a dictatorship where one single individual controls all social actions, government appointments, and economic opportunities, a democracy gives even the “little-guy” the chance to come up and make something of himself. And even if he or she does not come up, they have the opportunity to vote. Voting is an essential part of our government. Voting gives each citizen the right to elect into office a person they believe can do the best job. In a dictatorship, voting is not even an option. A leader is set, and until overthrown, he is the person in charge. I, as an American, cannot think of a society where I am not able to vote or express myself freely; this is what a democracy gives you. Another form of government, which limits the amount of power the people have, is a monarchy. Similar to a dictatorship, a monarchy is a form of government where one individual rules as king or emperor, while the people have to obey his rules. Although he himself is limited in his actions, the people, as well, are limited in the amount of say they have in what goes on in their society, economy and government’s practice. In a monarchy, there is one leader who rules for an indefinite amount of time. Often, this leader is put into his or her status because the position is hereditary, such as a king or queen. A democracy, though, has a president, who is directly elected by the voters and has proven he can do the job.

As stated, Americans have the right to vote. As an American, it is your responsibility to get out of your house and go to a local voting booth and cast your ballot for which candidate you believe is the best for any specific position; but there are other duties that an American citizen must partake in. Other than voting, a citizen must pay taxes. These taxes, although a burden at times, are used to fund public schools, public projects, street repairs, and pay the wages of your son or daughter teacher. Paying taxes is essential in preserving a vital part of our government: education. Another responsibility of an American citizen is jury duty. If you are a working, able body male or female over the age of eighteen then it is your job to serve on a jury whenever called on. This is a fundamental law that is described in the constitution. When a person is on trial he is guaranteed a fair hearing, by a jury of his peers. The keyword here is “peer”; and in court case a “peer” is a fellow American citizen serving in the jury box. Unlike other governments, where one individual hands down your punishment, a person is often tried by a jury of twelve who bring out verdict of guilty or not guilty. The fourth, but not final, responsibility of an American citizen is loyalty. Although there states no rules in our constitution that we have to be loyal, in order for our government to function, we as Americans must practice loyalty. Loyalty to fellow citizens, loyalty to our parents, loyalty to family in general, and especially loyalty to our government is what makes us a democracy. In order for our freedoms to never be challenged we must stand prepared to uphold the constitution and the American way of life, by whatever mean necessary

I, personally, am definitely proud to me an American citizen. Only in America can I work hard and be recognized for it. Only in America can I be what I want to be. Only in America can a person say, feel, or be what they want and not get penalized for it. I am proud to be an American citizen. When I watch television I see what goes on in other countries; tyrant rulers starving their people so they can put more funds into the making of nuclear weapons, men and women being murdered and executed for challenged the sayings of their leader, children being forced to work in sweat shops because their government is more worried about the economy than the society. I lay down every night and thank God that I live in a place where I have the right to be a senator or journalist, and not have to worry about the government hunting me down because I choose to make a difference. I am definitely thankful to be an American citizen, and I thank all those who have paved the way with sacrifices to give me the opportunities I have today.

A democracy is a special type of government that we take for granted. Similar to a beehive, it is a community of many working together to ensure that our society does not fall apart. Each and every individual plays a crucial part in the preservation of our government. Because of this, we are guaranteed freedoms, rights, and liberties that other countries are not. We should take advantage of these rights, and be proud to be called an AMERICAN CITIZEN.


We would like to wish Carlo Lindo the best of luck moving on to Babson College. Congratulations!

My full name is Carlo Aron Andrew Lindo. I was born to Odette and Ronald Lindo on May 11th, 1987 in Belize City, Belize. My life formally began when I moved to the United States, at the age of five, in 1992 with my mother, younger brother, and older sister. Without the opportunity to come to America and expand my horizons I do not think I would be where I am now, mentally and physically. Thirteen years later I am graduating from high school, being awarded the Christopher A. Santora Scholarship, and getting prepared to attend Babson College, in Babsonpark, Massachusetts. I enjoy playing football, watching movies, and expanding my DVD collection. My favorite subjects are science and government, and in college I plan on majoring in business management. At this point in my life I do not know what I want to be, but I do know that wherever I go my family is coming with me, while God stands and walks beside me. I am grateful for this scholarship and thank all those responsible for its existence. And I hope I get the chance to fulfill my dreams the same way Christopher fulfilled his. Once again, thank you and God bless.

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