The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Patrick Rooney:
2007 Winner
FDNY Ladder 4

Patrick Rooney

Winning Essay

As the representative of our Democratic Republic, the United States Government has made many decisions which have changed history for both the USA and the World. Some of the most radical changes in our Republic are from the Government’s policies of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments as well as the socialistic like policies of the New Deal which helped bring the US out of the Great Depression and also the court case of Rowe vs. Wade which decided that abortion was legal for a woman to have these changes forever changed our Democracy.

The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment were put into place after the Civil War and ended slavery, gave the blacks equal rights, and gave them the right to vote. This changed the Democracy forever because these Amendments truly made the United States “the land of the free” by abolishing slavery. Unfortunately the interpretation of these Amendments were altered after a supreme court decision in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson declared the African Americans could be “separate but equal” and afterwards the Jim Crow laws were put into effect and the African Americans were discriminated again. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when the Amendments were given full respect and segregation was declared unconstitutional.

After Black Tuesday in 1929, 5 days after the Stock Market crash that caused the Great Depression when the panic set in was an all time low for America. Despite many efforts with a full Capitalistic approach, it wasn’t until President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a series of programs which he called the New Deal, that society started to recover. Later on many of these programs were abolished due to their socialistic-like ideologies, but many of these programs are still used today to help people get jobs and receive financial-aid. Some of these plans are Social Security and the Security and Exchange Commission. Though controversial these plans gave people jobs when needed and made it possible for people to have housing instead of living in tents in the middle of Central Park like it was while Herbert Hoover was President (these tent camps were nicknamed Hoovervilles ).

Out of all the Amendments in the constitution there is none more important to the Democratic Republic than the 1st Amendment which gives everyone the Freedom of Speech. This Amendment was contested in 1973 during the court case of Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court Case of Roe vs. Wade determined whether a women had the right to have an abortion. It was decided that a women did have the right to choose whether to have an abortion or not. This was important to protect the rights of American citizens who have been guaranteed the right to choose the way they want to live their lives and not be forced to do what they do not want to do.

In conclusion, there are many decisions the United States has made in order to make the Democratic Republic stronger. Whether it was fully respecting the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments giving every one equal opportunities despite race, or bringing the country out of its all time low, like Franklin Roosevelt with the New Deal, or even protecting the original amendment with the decision of Roe vs. Wade. Through the years the Democratic Republic has been altered but has changed for the better while still holding the main policies that started when this country was founded.


My name is Patrick Rooney and I am a proud winner of the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Award. This year is my last year in West Babylon and I leave it with many fond memories and lessons learned.

As a senior I was the co-captain for the varsity track team after being on the team for three years. I have also worked very hard to help aid charities in making them successful. I am one of the head officers for Reading Fun Day in my school. In Reading Fun Day we select a children’s book and act it out for second–graders, then we give a copy of the book that we acted out to each second–grader in our school district.

With running I have also participated in various other charities. For the past 2 years I have run the Tunnel to Towers run in order to honor those who died for 9/11 and to raise money for the Stephen Siller Foundation. I have also done volunteer work for the Walk for Autism as well as a run for Hurricane Katrina relief.

There are many people for whom I would like to thank for my successes, but the people who I would like to thank the most is of course my parents. My Mother and Father are both responsible for the man that I have become, they taught me to help those who needed help the most and to try my best so I would succeed at life.

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