The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Deanna Cipollone:
2008 Winner
I.S. 141

Deanna Cipollone

Winning Essay

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have a great country. We enjoy more freedom and live a better quality of life here than in any other country. As the future of our country, I look forward to exercising my right and fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen of a democracy to vote. As in any large society there are bound to be some issues. Global warming, homelessness and social security are, in my opinion, some of the most pressing issues of today. I feel these problems are putting the future of our country in jeopardy.

Global warming is one of the most serious issues we face today. If we do not stop polluting the atmosphere today, there will not be much of a world left for future generations. We will not be here to see the devastating effects of global warming but what type of world will be left for our children and grandchildren? It is projected that by the year 2100 the earth’s average temperature may be increased by 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and the sea level will rise by about 82 feet. This will cause a multitude of problems such as extreme weather, low agricultural yields, species extinctions and the return of diseases which have not been seen in many years. There is nothing we can do about the damage that has already been done but there is so much that can be done to prevent further damage. There are steps we can take as individuals but the majority of preventative measures must come from legislation. I think our next president should look at California’s leadership in environmental solutions and make sure these actions are adopted by every state.

Another growing crisis in the United States today is homelessness. While it is fine to give aid to other countries, we should first look at the serious problem of homelessness in our own country. In 2006 there were 744,000 homeless people; forty percent of them were families, and the numbers are growing. I see evidence of this in my neighborhood everyday. It makes me sad to see these people living on the street especially when they have children. There is no quick fix to this problem. I believe a good start would be for our government to implement more programs to help these people to help themselves.

Social security is a concern for Americans of all ages. The government will have to raise six trillion dollars today so that it can pay benefits promised between 2017 and 2080. This concerns me because by the time I am ready to retire in 2062, the Social Security Administration will most likely be bankrupt. Unless we start fixing social security now, the only solutions in the future will be extremely higher taxes and dramatic cuts in social security benefits and other government programs. Politicians cannot agree on a way to fix this problem. Some of the ideas on the table include limiting benefits for the rich, giving people much less money if they retire at an earlier age and allowing people to put part of their payroll taxes in a personal retirement account. In my opinion, allowing personal retirement accounts seems to be the best idea. Their money would earn a better interest rate than it would in the social security system. A young person who earns $ 35,000 a year over their working lifetime would have a quarter of a million dollars by the time they retired. They would also qualify for some social security benefits.

America is the strongest, wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. We have been through some tough times yet we have always banned together, stood strong and pulled through. Global warming is threatening our very existence, there are many citizens homeless and hungry and very soon we will not be able to take care of our seniors. No country will ever be able to fix all of its problems but if we continue on this path of inaction, we could be threatening the quality of life as we know it.


We would like to wish Deanna Cipollone the best of luck moving on to High School of Art and Design. Congratulations!

My name is Deanna Cipollone. I am currently in the eighth grade at IS 141. I am excited to be writing this biography as this is the second time I have been a recipient of the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship. This first time was in 2005. I feel both proud and honored.

When I found out I won this year, I pulled out the journal from 2005 and read my biography. I wrote in that biography that one of my dreams was to attend the High School of Art and Design. I am happy to say that I have achieved that dream. I have been accepted to and will be attending Art and Design in September. The Christopher Santora Scholarship is about following your dreams. I feel that I am doing just that. By getting into Art and Design, I am one step closer to attaining my dream of becoming an animator.

I am looking forward to starting high school. I have known this is the school I wanted to attend since I was in the fourth grade. I love to draw and appreciate all types of art but cartooning and animation is what I like most and do best. The reason I chose Art and Design is that it is the only art high school which offers cartooning and animation as a major. I know keeping up with regular school work and art assignments will be challenging. I also know if I work hard, I will succeed as a career in art is truly the path I want to follow.

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