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Melanie Ann Miranda:
2010 Winner
I.S. 227

Melanie Ann Miranda

Winning Essay

President Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba his first day in office.  Yet, a year has passed and that still hasn’t happened. I believe that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp should stay open because it is off American grounds, therefore the jailed people cannot escape and hurt any part of the country. The military that is at the prison helps keep everything in order. Most of the inmates at Guantanamo Bay are dangerous terrorists. If they are held at any other regular prison, they can create plots with the other inmates.

Guantanamo Bay is not a regular prison. It is a U.S. military prison, which means it is only intended hold people who have tried to intentionally hurt the U.S. or its people. The detainees at Guantanamo Bay are considered too dangerous to be released, for they can try to hurt the U.S. or its people again. The people there have been sent indefinitely without a trial. There has been a recent controversy on whether to close the prison or not. Regardless of them having a trial, the terrorists are being held and will not be able to hurt the U.S. or its people.

The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is held in an isolated part of Cuba. If an inmate ever attempts to escape, that person will have nowhere to go. So it is very important for the U.S. to have this prison on foreign soil because if we were to have it in any part of America, an inmate that has escaped will be able to hurt anyone or any part of the country. And if that were to happen, the country’s national security would be in danger. 

The military is in charge at Guantanamo Bay. This is very important because if any outbreak were to happen, they would be able to have the situation under control. They are trained to deal with aggressive behaviors which many of the terrorists have. In case of a revolt, the military will be there to stop it.

It is very important to maintain the detention camp open in order to control the captured terrorists. If they are to be at any other prison with criminals who have committed different crimes, not as severe as terrorism, they can convince them to become terrorists as well. For example, if a man that robbed a store was released, and he spoke to a terrorist earlier, the terrorist could’ve convinced him to commit an attack. At Guantanamo Bay that couldn’t happen because the terrorists are confined to their own cells.

Although it is very expensive maintaining the prison, I still believe it should stay open for the security of all American citizens. Having the prison away from U.S. soil can help prevent any attacks if a criminal escaped. Having the military in charge is a big help because if any outbreaks were to happen they will be able to stop it. And finally, I believe it is important to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention camp open because if the terrorists are held at any other regular prison, they could convince other convicts to plot an attack as soon as they are released.


We would like to wish Melanie Ann Miranda the best of luck moving on to Academy for Careers in Television and Film. Congratulations!

My name is Melanie Miranda and I’ll be turning 14 on June 11. I was born in New York City and I’ve lived here all my life.

I currently attend I.S. 227 as an 8th grader; I entered the school as a 6th grader who didn’t really know anyone. But on that first day I made the friends who I stuck with until this very day, and hopefully for a while more. I’m sad to leave, but I’m also very happy to have gone to this school and made great friends and memories. This September I’ll be attending Academy for Careers in Television and Film. I’m really excited to be going to this school since it was one of my favorite choices.

After school I go to a Beacon program. I’m involved in the robotics and the dance activities. The robotics team first began last year and I was in it as the programmer for the robot. We entered our first competition and ended up leaving fifth place! This year we’re trying harder and aiming for third place or maybe better. In the dance group, another friend and I help choreograph the dance and also perform with the other students.

At I.S. 227 I’m in the eighth grade dance elective and the students and I have fun creating the dances ourselves. I also go to Callina Moraytis’ School of Classical Ballet. I’ve been dancing there for eight years and have enjoyed every dance, every year. I’m always excited for our annual performances and love stepping foot on stage. Dancing is the most important thing in the world for me, and I don’t know what I would do without it.

Like any other teenager, I spend my time texting, being on the computer, and watching TV. But I also adore reading. If I’m able to find a really good book, I won’t stop reading it until I’m done. Whenever I see the question “What is your favorite book?” I really can’t answer it. The best books I have read are from the Ugly series by Scott Westerfeld, The Tithe series by Holly Black, and Kiki Strike by Kristen Miller.

I enjoy many genres of music, but the one type of music I really can’t listen to is country. My favorites include rock, alternative, reggae and dancehall. I can enjoy listening to some of the newest hits, but I can also listen to music from before I was born.

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