The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Meagan Muriel Walls:
2011 Winner
FDNY Office of Battalion 50

Meagan Muriel Walls

Winning Essay

Barack Obama entered the presidential race promising change. This ideal of “out with the old in with the new” appealed to young voters and many of the more experienced voters. Change seemed like the answer to all the issues our country has been dealing with. The major changes Obama has made so far deal with health care, bailouts, the troops, and drugs.

Everyone gets sick at some point so any changes to our health care system are a big deal. The health care bill was rushed through Congress and passed by officials who could not have possibly had the time to read it. Universal health care sounds altruistic, but it’s costly. This change would introduce government into our most personal decisions. As anyone can see socialistic models haven’t worked well in other countries. Due to the flawed nature of the system I believe Obama’s plan for health care shouldn’t be used. In the near future and the future of my children, seeing a doctor will be nearly impossible. The wait time will be outrageous as seen in Canada. I believe everyone should have the option to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to their health.

The forty-fourth president also faced the difficult task of dealing with the crash of the economy, and the decision to lend a helping hand to several fledgling corporations; including General Motors, City Group, and the Bank of America. This is a change I chose to speak about because the actions of President Obama were precisely the opposite of what I was taught as a child. We must take responsibility for our actions which, with bail-outs, showed America that if we fail we’ll be let off the hook. Barack Obama’s actions also defied the accepted teachings of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and his concept of survival of the fittest. I do not believe the President’s move to save the economy was a beneficial one. All I believe this did was teach our future generations that if they fail, Uncle Sam will take care of their problems as well as land them with a mound of taxes left over from the mistakes of the bailed out corporations.

A decision that caused great controversy among Americans was the decision dealing with the removal of troops. Obama promised he’d bring the troops home very soon. It would be great to bring home our soldiers but it’s difficult to put a specific date on it. Al Qaeda and the Taliban will simply wait for us to leave and then carry on with their mission. Future generation would have to return to complete the task. I agree that there must be a quicker return that will maintain the positive effects of our victory and the sacrifice of the men and women who serve our country. However I disagree with a withdrawal based on the calendar.

One of the changes on which I agree with President Obama is his anti-drug policies. The policies of the past have not worked and I strongly dislike growing up surrounded by drugs and their effects. The new policies are community based, and focus on decriminalizing marijuana, and developing international cooperation to disrupt the flow of drugs and money. There will also be crop alternatives for farmers abroad who grow opium and coca. If this policy is successful it could save lives, improve the quality of life, and stabilize family life. I am in favor of the policy and I believe it is worth a chance to improve the lives of our young and the future of our country.

President Barack Obama’s changes are numerous, and differ in level of efficiency. In government, all elected officials will influence or change existing policies. Obama was successful in creating the illusion of being the first one to want change. In the end though, politics are politics.



Meagan Walls will be graduating from The Mary Louis Academy of Jamaica Estates, Queens. She is a student who both appreciates, and enjoys challenges. She has taken a variety of AP and honors courses over the past four years, and has received Principal’s List every trimester. She maintains a GPA above 4. Meagan is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, History Club and Irish Club since freshman year.

Meagan is well rounded and enjoys sports as well. She has received the Scholar Athlete Award three years in a row and is on track for a fourth. The scholar athlete combines and excels in both academics and athletics. She has played four years of softball. She advanced to varsity level her sophomore year; after earning Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors from her junior varsity coach for defense her freshman year. Softball has been a big part of her life.

In 2009 she shared her love for the sport and gave back to her community by creating a free softball clinic for girls aged 8-12 at her local little league. The clinic was very successful in teaching the girls not only softball skills, but also life skills such as teamwork, self-confidence and citizenship on and off the field. Meagan was able to accomplish this by recruiting players from local college and high school teams to mentor the younger players. She managed to encourage these young women to give up summer days for the reward of giving back to the community pro bono, an accomplishment that takes true leadership. This upcoming summer will be the clinic’s third year. Her initiative and success in creating and directing the clinic earned Meagan the Pat Waters award from the, Ridgewood Glendale Middle Village Maspeth (RGMVM) Little League. This honor was created in memory of FDNY Captain Pat Waters, an active member of the league who made the supreme sacrifice, along with Christopher Santora on 9/11. The Pat Water’s Award is given to one recipient every year “who exhibits leadership qualities and gives back to his or her community”. Meagan is very grateful to all her coaches and teammates for helping her hone her leadership skills.


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