The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Robert (RJ) Stegmeier:
2006 Winner
FDNY Engine 298

Robert (RJ) Stegmeier

Winning Essay

Our country has been affected by a number of presidential candidates, all aiding to the shape our nation of the United States has taken as a whole. The opinions on the requirements of such presidents differ among the people of our nation, but there are indeed distinct qualities a president should possess, as well as some they should not. Also, some presidents of the United Sates stand out in comparison to others over the years for carious reasons, both successful and not.

In order to be a successful president, a candidate must possess essential qualities in order to both gain the trust of the nation in which they govern, as well as the respect and trust of other nations. Some of these specifications include intelligence, leadership, loyalty, respect and lastly he/she must be an impeccable orator. Intelligence is probably the quality most commonly associated with the presidency because it is essential to the decision making process of the United States. Intelligence is needed in order to be able to make decisions, because a president must be able to assess the situation at hand, decide the best possible solution to what he/she is dealing with, while at the same time being able to weight the consequences of his/her actions for both the positive and the negative outcomes. Next, a president needs to possess leadership. This is so, because as well as an intelligent president, he must be a facilitator and mediator to his whole branch of government both within the white house, as well as to our nation. It is in fact necessary to portray loyalty and respect as the president of the United States as well. This is so because if the president demands respect and loyalty from those that he governs, as well as from his allied countries, he must give the same in return. Lastly the president must be an outstanding orator, or one who speaks profoundly and accurately when doing so. The president of the United States indeed needs to be able to convey information to the public with passion, and certainty so that the people believe in him and support his decisions. He must speak to opposing countries with force, demand, and no tolerance, and to his fellow cabinet members with respect and intent to be open to their opinions on political issues for example. To be and insightful and credited president, these characteristics are a necessity.

There are also pinpointed mannerisms possessed by past presidents that can be displayed as weaknesses. These qualities include aggressiveness, indecisiveness, as well as courage. During times of a presidency, the president will normally experience war related times, and during these times there is a need for composure for the good of the nation. If a president is presented with a problem, issue, or war threat at hand, and is too quick to react, therefore being over aggressive, making a hasty decision before mapping out his consequences, the integrity and strength of the nation could diminish. Also a president must be able to make strong, accurate decisions on the spot, without wasting time, or stalling, as long as he/she is equipped with substantial information to make the decision. At times, the indecisiveness of a president can cost American lives during wartime, as well as the miss out on great opportunities that may be at hand. Lastly, a president needs to have courage. He/She needs to be able to look a problem in the eye and tackle it to the best of his ability. A president can never be scared about anything that goes on within a nation, because if he were to back down ad give up on his, whole nation would have no one to look up to.

During their presidency, both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, both displayed characteristics that ultimately had positive effect on the United States as a whole. For example, F.D. Roosevelt had little confidence from his cabinet members, as well as his nation when he decided to stand against Fascism in World War II. Through the deficits of both WWII and The Great Depression, F.D.R was able to courageously and effectively bring the U.S. out of the lowest time in the country’s history against the odds of everyone else. F.D.R. was able to turn the worst into a livable society, and doing so gained the trust and respect of many, that still affects the way he is looked at positively today. Abraham Lincoln was also a president who stood out in history. Lincoln was able to take a nation, in complete turmoil with itself over the slavery issue, and settle it out of a Civil War. He was able to institute the Emancipation Proclamation, banning slavery forever Lincoln was as well a courageous president, who was eventually assassinated by John Wilkes Booth years later for standing by his principles so loyally.

In conclusion throughout the decades of the United States, we, as a nation have been both positively and negatively affected as one. There are, in fact absolute values that must be possessed by Presidents in order to successfully serve our country, as well as others that could defect the well being of us all. These ethics, portrayed by such presidents over the years, are what have made the Unites States what it is today.


We would like to wish Robert (RJ) Stegmeier the best of luck moving on to Sacred Heart University. Congratulations!

My name is Robert (RJ) Stegmeier, and I am 18 years old, currently attending Connetquot High School. I have enrolled in Sacred Heart University for the Fall of 2006. My father is an FDNY Lieutenant dispatched for Ladder 127, Engine 298 on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. During my college years, I plan to major in Business Administration/Management, earning both my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in five years. With the help of The Santora Scholarship Fund I intend to not only make the years at Sacred Heart affordable, but to use my college education as an essential building block for the journey to desired success.

Throughout my High School career, I have been involved in many extra-curricular activities. Some of these included Junior Varsity and Varsity Football, National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Chorus, Treasurer of the Senior Class, and I also acted as a youth leader at my local youth group (St. John’s Youth Ministry) for over four years. Although these activities and organizations and many more kept me busy running around week in and out, I felt the need to continue to stay involved, as well as work and have time for my family and own enjoyment. Aside from these school and church related activities, I am a typical teenager – I like all kinds of music, I love to eat, workout, play flag football, and go to out with my friends (Half off appetizers at Applebee’s after 10pm has perfected our senior year!)

I would like to briefly highlight one experience that has helped me to live my life to the fullest, and how I approach life with great appreciation. For the past two summers, as well as the upcoming, several kids from my youth group and I took a road trip to Worcester, Massachusetts, to aid in an inner-city daycare, located in “The Projects” for five full days. We became emotionally attached to children who, day in and day out, were abused, harassed and degraded at home, and who came to this daycare not only for supervision purposes, but for safety. Glowing faces, and smiles from ear to ear of over fifty children ranging from ages 6-12 years crowded the windows, piled upon each other to see the YNIA( Youth Neighbors in Action) for five days. Greeted with open arms that could swallow the sun, they reached for our hands, but touched our hearts. It was amazing how so much happiness could be portrayed by children who received so little love, care, understanding, and safety; qualities we take for granted daily. With the insight and passion that I have taken with me from those five days I spent volunteering in Worcester, I plan to live my life in the most authentic and grateful way, lead by example and work to succeed in all that I do.

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