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Madhurima Chowdhury:
2008 Winner
P.S. 122

Madhurima Chowdhury

Winning Essay

America has grown ever since the time Christopher Columbus dropped his anchor into the dock of American soil. America blossomed into one of the world’s most powerful countries and it is seen as a land of freedom and new hopes. The basis of the United States is that every man is created equal. Most people, living in and outside of the United States, believe that this country is flawless and yearn to reach this impeccable land of opportunities. However, a lot of people overlook the many issues, such as urbanization, addicted teens and the outbreak of violence that America is faced with. These issues are affecting all of us in different ways and we should start reforming them with the help of our society and our President.

As I am driving with my parents down the Triborough Bridge, I look out the window and see the beautiful New York City skyline. Suddenly, I see black smoke coming out of factories. It twirls around for a while and then is engulfed by the blue sky. This is the visual proof of urbanization, with construction of five-star hotels and skyscrapers, which has shaped our societies. We have factories making everything from clothing to cars; we have skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building, up and down the streets of Manhattan; we have paved streets for cars. All these factors are making America more industrialized and more independent for not needing many manufactured goods from foreign countries. However, urbanization does take a toll on us. Factories create much of the pollution that affects our health. Buildings and paved streets are made by deforestation, which is the cutting down of forests. Furthermore, urbanization causes global warming because of the release of excess greenhouse gases. These gases trap Earth’s radiation, causing the average temperature of Earth to increase. The increase in burning of wood and fossil fuels for urbanization contributes to the release of greenhouse gases. As a result, our health and our environment are becoming dangerous for us to live in! How can we live in such a hazardous atmosphere? How can we live in such atmosphere where there’s a chance of us dying? However, we still have a chance to reduce the amount of pollution that is occurring. Since this is a colossal issue that our country is facing, our next President should pass a law that makes it mandatory to only drive hybrids. Cars running on oil should be banned. Even though hybrids are expensive, it is worth it in the bigger picture. Plus, the President should reduce the number of factories, which are also causing pollution. We need wood for many things and so we can’t stop abruptly discontinue deforestation. However, we should preserve more forests and plant more trees in the place of the trees that were already chopped off. Instead of building even more buildings, we could always build upwards, which would preserve more land. Also, more companies can share buildings, instead of constructing different ones. There are many solutions to this problem and there are many steps that we can take to many our environment safer, cleaner and a better place to live in. Our next President’s duty should be to pass laws that would reduce the amount of pollution caused by urbanization.

I turn on the TV to watch a talk show. A girl has her head down with her chocolate brown hair covering her red face. Her parents are talking to the host about how the young girl’s addiction to smoking is not only affecting her health, but also the whole family. The girl sniffles and more tears fall down her cheeks. Another prominent issue faced by the American societies is teens turning to drinking and smoking to fit in or to escape from their miseries. Everyday I see teenagers drinking and smoking in the streets. These underage teenagers shouldn’t even be drinking, but these actions give them such a feeling of pride and strength that they don’t understand that they are actually killing themselves. At times they pose a higher degree of danger when they drink and jump into their cars. According to the website, twenty-five percent of car accidents are due to teenagers drinking and driving. The fact that three thousand four hundred sixty seven teenagers died because of drinking and driving in 2005 is even more shocking. Many innocent people die because of these reckless drivers. Even though some intoxicated teens do not drive under the influence, they are still in danger because they are unaware of what they are doing while they are drunk. Some make the biggest mistake of their lives while they are high because they are oblivious to what they are doing. It is important for teens to learn about the consequences of drinking because their actions affect everyone around them including their loved ones and the innocent people walking or driving down the streets. The President should do his part and make sure that the citizens, including the teenagers, are safe. Many times teenagers drink and smoke right outside their high schools but the security guards are inside the schools. Therefore the President should create a law that says that a few security guards should be outside the schools to make sure that the teenagers are neither drinking nor smoking. The President should also create a law that forces the teenagers who are caught drinking to be made to go to juvenile detention and to be on probation. These teens should learn their lesson and the law should show the other teens what would happen to them if they are caught drinking or smoking. Intoxicated teens have been a prominent issue for many years. Ergo, our future President should enforce health classes in every high school for all four years, where students can learn about the consequences of intoxication. The President should make laws that will decrease the percentage of intoxicated teens in America.

The ten o’clock news starts off with the Breaking News. A man has been brutally killed. The bloody apartment is shown with chairs turned over and blood splattered all over the room. His body is being covered up. I feel sick to my stomach and turn away from the TV. This kind of eruption of violence has spread throughout the nation. Murderous scenes are no longer uncommon. Streets soaked with blood with bloody knives next to dead bodies are daily news for Americans now. There are murders, abusive people, gang members shooting others, and so on. Many people’s lives are at risk. Therefore, many people are too scared to step out of their houses because of their fears of being attacked. Whenever I watch the news, every single day there is something about a murder case or a shooting rampage. If we look back, we realize that in the last year, there have been two frightening shootings in two different colleges-Virginia Tech and NIU. Our upcoming President should enforce compulsory violence prevention courses in schools to teach the students how harmful these brutal and vicious acts are. There also should be more after school programs for students when they can do their homework, play sports, paint over graffiti in their schools and neighborhoods, and just have fun. That way the children will be having supervised fun while staying out of danger. This will also keep the children safe and hopefully, if the students learn about violence, they will know that violence isn’t the right way to let out anger or frustration.

As one can see, the view of “America’s perfection” is not really correct. It’s true that this nation has achieved much and has traveled an extremely long path to come upon success. But this success can only make us stronger to achieve more and truly make this country the epitome of peace. It’s important to realize the many issues in our neighborhoods that we need to solve to make our environments better. Our future President, hopefully, could take steps to reform our societies to make a safer and “cleaner” country. The next President should at least try to help the public in some way and improve our country to its best. Someday, with the help of the next President, these issues, such as urbanization, intoxication teens, and violence, will become ‘silent’ again.


I am Madhurima Chowdhury, an eight grader from The Mamie Fay School. I always set high goals for myself. One of my favorite quotes is “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.” This inspirational quote by Les Brown shows me that as long as I feel that I have reached my full potential, I am fine even if I don’t reach the goal that I had set for myself. One of my biggest goals in life is to do well in school and put all my effort into my schoolwork. My favorite subject is English. I love the discussions that we have because these discussions make you think about our world and at times the questions that arise from our discussions in English make me change my mind about our lives as a whole. I also enjoy reading different types of books, from murder stories to comedy stories. Although I am not the best writer, I love to write because it is a way to voice my opinion and have them heard.

My dream is to grow up to become a lawyer. It was something I wanted to be since I was a kid. I guess I also want to carry on the family tradition of being a lawyer, since both my uncle and my grandfather were lawyers. I love to stand up for what I believe in and I want to defend people who are innocent.

I am totally into watching TV, like other teenagers. I love TV shows such as American Idol, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and So You Think You Can Dance. I am also a big sports fan. My two favorite sports are baseball and football. I like listening to music. I love different blends of music, from R&B to country. Music is my “highway exit” from the fast lane, especially after school when I just want to relax. I listen to artists such as Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Chris Brown, Fergie, Rihanna, and Beyonce.

My true inspirations are my parents and my sister. I know that I always have them to lean on. They are always encouraging me to do my best and I probably wouldn’t be the person I am if they weren’t there for me.

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