The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

Box Top

Eliana Kerrigan:
2014 Winner
P.S. 122

Eliana Kerrigan

Winning Essay

A hero and a legend are very important people who make a difference in the world. I feel a hero is someone brave who saves people from danger and sometimes has to make sacrifices to do that. A legend is also someone who does brave things, like saving people or places, but what they do is so important they become famous and are remembered for a long time. A hero can also be considered a legend.

In my opinion, Firefighter Christopher Santora is a hero. Christopher grew up in Long Island City and played sports in the neighborhood where I live, including basketball with my dad. He became a teacher but then quit to become a firefighter like his dad. On the day September 11, 2001, Christopher went into Manhattan to help rescue people from the Twin Towers before they fell down. He and all the other firefighters sacrificed their lives so that other people could make it out alive. It is very sad that Christopher died, but that is what makes him a hero. He was very brave by doing that and he will always be remembered that way.

Sometimes legends are remembered for sacrifices they made for good causes for people or countries. An example of this is Amelia Earhart. In 1921 she set the first women’s record by flying up to 14,000 feet, but she is really remembered for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia’s actions set many records and opened up many opportunities for women. At this time, women were not allowed to do much so Amelia Earhart becoming a pilot and being the first woman to fly across the ocean showed that women could do the things men could. Amelia Earhart was never found but she is remembered with statues, school namings and many things in her honor. She sacrificed to prove that women of her time were capable of greatness.

I chose Christopher Santora as a hero and Amelia Earhart as a legend because both made very brave actions and sacrifices for good causes. What they did was very different but both are remembered for their actions. Christopher Santora died because he wanted to save innocent people who were in danger. He sacrificed his life for others. Amelia Earhart will always be remembered for her actions by showing that women were just as capable as men. Christopher Santora has a street named after him in Astoria and Amelia Earhart has an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Heroes and legends are very important people. They are extremely brave and always want to do good for others. Sometimes a hero becomes a legend because of the things he or she does. Christopher Santora and all the other firefighters and police from September 11 can be considered legends because their actions were so important to saving people. Even though Amelia Earhart didn’t save anybody, she saved women by showing that they had the same abilities as everyone else and that made her a legend. Heroes and legends are very inspiring and show that anyone is capable of doing important things.


My name is Eliana Markella Kerrigan. I am ten years old. My birthday is August 2, 2003 and I can’t wait to turn eleven. I am in the fifth grade at P.S. 122 in Astoria, Queens and I will be graduating in June. I’m nervous to start a new school but this is a very memorable year for me because I won the Christopher Santora Award and I have never won anything this important before.

I love my family very much. My mom’s name is Ria and my dad’s name is John. I have three older sisters. Mariana is the oldest, she is twenty-four years old. Stefani is twenty-two years old and Constantina is fourteen years old. My sister Mariana also has a daughter, Kyriaki and she is one. Kyriaki feels like my younger sister because we’re so close in age. I love playing with her and I feel so lucky because I was there when she was born. My family means everything to me. We don’t always get along but I’ll love them always. My family pushes me to do so many good things and I don’t regret listening to them because they inspire me. They also give me love and support and help me so I can accomplish things in the future because I want to be a teacher.

I love to dance in school, dance class and my room. I have been dancing for eight years. My favorite dance is ballet because it is very peaceful and it is fun. It makes me feel as if I’m soaring through the clouds. I love watching “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Voice” and I want to audition to be on those shows one day. I always like entertaining people so I think that would be the best experience. My favorite colors are pink and purple. I like to ride my bike that my mom and dad just bought me. It is purple and I have a purple helmet for safety. My favorite subject in school is gym. I’m not that good in math, so that is my least favorite subject. I also like writing and reading because I learn a lot from reading books.

I am very excited for the summer. I love going to the beach and playing in the sand and water. We go to Long Beach in Long Island and spend all day there and then get really good ices from Ralph’s. I also can’t wait to be able to ride my bike all the time when it’s nice and sunny out and then be able to get chocolate frozen yogurt.

I feel very honored and thankful to win the Christopher Santora Award. This is very important to me. I am also very proud of this accomplishment because it made my family proud of me. I am happy that I can help honor his memory and all the other people who made such important sacrifices.

Box Bottom