The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Kathyrine Danyluk:
2005 Winner
I.S. 10

Kathyrine Danyluk

Winning Essay

When I hear democracy I think of government run by the people. The United States, as you know, has chosen democracy as their form of government. Though we are lucky enough to have democracy, there are other nations that are less fortunate. China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam are some nations that are not fortunate to have a democracy, their government is Communist which is a dictatorship.

The job of a democracy is to prevent the government from abusing their power, but what are the responsibilities of a citizen in a democratic government? Well, one responsibility is to pay taxes. Every year citizens pay taxes which comes out to almost 1,743 billion dollars that the government receives. The money that the government receives is used for Social Security, which is the money given to retired workers. Medicare for older people, Medicaid health insurance for people with less money, welfare, benefits for farmers, technology and expenses for the military.

Another responsibility a citizen of a democracy has is raising their children to become good responsible citizens. Their children will be the future democratic citizens. Parents must inform their children of the responsibilities of a democratic citizen has, like paying taxes, going to jury duty when asked, serving in the military if asked and others.

Voting is a major responsibility of a citizen of a democracy. A U. S. citizen begins to vote when they are eighteen. Citizens must register first. Voting is free and voluntary and you cannot vote if you have mental issues and you have committed a serious crime. Voters vote for candidates running for government offices.

When there is war, a citizen of a democracy must support their country. Americans should support their troops. Americans should also support their country when a tragic event has just occurred. For instance, when 9/11 happened the nation held together and helped the families of victim. Troops in Iraq are now being supported in many ways. Yellow ribbons around neighborhoods, children, friends and families writing to their loved ones and wearing wristbands that have messages on them. These are all ways citizens support our nation.

I am proud to be an American. If you’re an American you get many opportunities in life that you would not get in other countries. You have the support of your country. You have freedom of speech and freedom for men and women to vote. Being an American is something every citizen should be proud of.


My name is Kathyrine Danyluk. I’m in the eighth grade at I.S. 10. In school my favorite classes are English and history. I love to play soccer and just hang out with my friends. Next school year I will be going to Bayard Rustin High School for the Humanities, where I’ll be studying creative writing. When I get older my goals are to become a writer or an obstetrician. The Santoras just helped me get a little closer to accomplishing my goals. I’m very grateful for this scholarship and would like to thank the Santora family.

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