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Jill Chow:
2009 Winner
I.S. 227

Jill Chow

Winning Essay

January 20, 2009 marks a day in history in which America’s first African-American President was inaugurated. The election of President Barack Obama was important fro multiple reasons.

Perhaps the most prominent reason for the importance of Obama’s election is the racial barrier. In all of America’s 232 years, there has never been an African-American President. There have been African-American Supreme judges, and governors. However, no African-American has ever held such a high office. President Obama is the son of a Kenyan immigrant. When he was elected, he became more than a symbol for America’s African community; Barack Obama was a representative for all minorities. He paved the way for other minorities to aspire for Presidency. By electing an African-American President, Americans are issuing a statement that they are not thwarted by a matter as narrow minded as race when deciding our national symbol.

Besides breaking the racial barrier, Barack Obama created a diverse cabinet. He has a combination of women, Hillary Clinton being the most celebrated, Hispanics and young officials. This mix of distinct members shows Obama’s tolerance and respect for others’ opinions. With minorities present in advising the President, other ethnicities are also represented in decisions involving America.

Every one of our past 43 Presidents were Protestant, excluding the Catholic John F. Kennedy. On the other hand, Barack Obama comes from a different religious background. He is part Evangelist Christian and part Muslim. At this moment, the Muslim countries are not exactly at peace with the United States. By electing President Obama, it would be similar to a peace treaty to the Muslim nations. Obama can influence the nations into being friends with America. This election is a display of America’s acceptance of other religions.

America is going through an economic crisis. The newly elected President can either make or break our country. Barack Obama was enrolled to our nation’s highest office in the midst of economic havoc. He has proposed a plan to help lift the slump. Former President George W. Bush issued a one million dollar tax cut for higher income tax payers. However, middle-class citizens continued to pay taxes. Obama proposes a one thousand dollar tax cut for the middle class, which are the majority of the American census population. He promotes foreign trade and to fix NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement.) In addition, Barack Obama will give fifty billion dollars federal money to jumpstart the economy and prevent one million job losses. Twenty-five billion dollars would be for the Sate Growth Fund in order to provide for cuts in education and construction for public services.

A vigorous education results in a prosperous future. Over the last five years, local college tuition has been raised by 35%. Many academically qualified students end their education after high school because college was unaffordable. President Barack Obama proposes a plan to cover two-thirds of their tuition in exchange for community service. He also suggests Teacher Service Scholarships. Aspiring teachers can receive four years of free undergraduate or two years of graduate education. Teachers also may have better pay if they teach well. Barack Obama wants to find more efficient ways to measure a student’s ability other than standardized tests. He is addressing drop-out rates and is making math and science a priority. By electing Barack Obama, we are giving the future generations a chance to excel and grow.

The planet is suffering from pollution, global warming and climate control. America is one of the leaders in emitting harmful toxins and draining our unreplenishable energy supply. Our newly elected President has a plan to make the United States a leader in a greener environment instead. Barack Obama has plans to reduce greenhouse gas by 80% by 2050. The Construction of the Alaska Natural Gasline will open up more jobs. The federal government will invest one hundred fifty billion dollars over a decade to finding alternative energy and new technology, therefore producing five million new jobs. At this moment, America is exceedingly dependent on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan gas imports. By using other renewable resources and hopefully having one million hybrid cars on the road by 2015, our reliance on petroleum imports would decline. Obama is also trying to issue a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard. With these conserving methods, America will guide the way for a cleaner future.

Our President is a symbol of our nation. Our nation is multi-cultural and our citizens have ancestries rooted in countries all over the globe. President Obama stands for all the diverse ethnicities in America. He brought together the globe and is an icon of change. During his inauguration, children from Indonesia, a nation that housed him for a while, viewed history. Kenyans gathered to celebrate the President whose roots could be traced back to Kenya. His native Hawaii commemorated the day where its hometown hero made history.

In my opinion, the election of Barack Obama was important to our country. He not only made history, but he took over the country at a time where alternative notions were needed. He is the American hope. With a new President, the United States of America can advance forward into the new millennium with progressive ideas. Barack Obama’s slogan throughout his campaign was “Change We Can Believe In.” By electing him, “Change has finally come!”


We would like to wish Jill Chow the best of luck moving on to Stuyvesant High School. Congratulations!

I am Jill Chow. I am currently an eighth grader at Louis Armstrong Middle School. I aspire to be valedictorian of my school. After this summer I would be a freshman at Stuyvesant High School. My goal is to eventually be accepted to Harvard or Yale University and pursue a career as a lawyer and author.

My friends would describe me as witty, sensible, too kind to others, a “genius” and the leader who takes charge without being too bossy. My teachers say that I am a conscientious worker, modest, responsible and reliable.

At home, my family consists of my grandparents, parents and my little brother, Jay. They were the influences who encouraged me to become who I am today. My favorite colors are purple and blue. Some of my best subjects are the humanities and math. I am not a science person, however. At school, I play the clarinet and am in my sixth year.

Ironically enough, when I was in kindergarten, I was in an ESL class. Every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, I would have to go to a class and boost my vocabulary. I hated reading and books in general. However, my teachers and my father pushed me the entire year. By first grade, I was placed in the top class. My love for reading began.

I enjoy reading, writing and listening to music. I am not picky about the music I Iisten to and have a range from the “Phantom of the Opera” to Rihanna. I have a long list of favorite authors as well. To name a few, Jodi Picoult, her books are based on the law and her topics tend to lean towards the grayer areas of life. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series are good and I have probably read Harry Potter thirty times. Writing has always been a passion for me. I find great joy in writing fiction. However, poetry and essays come easily as well. I haven’t watched a lot of movies, but I do have a few Disney classics that I like. I love the “Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” and “Hercules.” “Anastasia” and the “Phantom of the Opera” are also on my list of favorites. The “Harry Potter” series were also entertaining.

Outside of school, I enjoy sports. My favorite teams are the New York Yankees for baseball, New York Giants for football, the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs for basketball, and the New York Rangers for hockey. I can’t play volleyball for my life and am trying out swimming. I like to go to park with my friends and play football and basketball. Unfortunately, every time I play one on one against my little brother, I tend to be on the losing side of the score.

After this summer, I would start high school. It’s nerve-wrecking yet I am looking forward to a new start. I am also eager to compete against an entire student body of highly academically qualified kids. I plan to study hard, and still enjoy my high school experience.

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