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Siobhan Brady:
2009 Winner
FDNY Ladder 4

Siobhan Brady

Winning Essay

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
-Barack Obama

The idea of change is one that terrifies yet ignites the spirits of those it is occurring too. These “changes” make one fear for the loss of the past and put wonderment in what could be in store for their future. In our nation, we are given the chance to facilitate change every four years as America holds its Presidential elections. During these elections, citizens chose whom they believe will lead them into a brighter future. In the most recent 2008 presidential election, there was much excitement from beginning to end as different variables, rarely ever brought to the elective table, held the primary spotlight. These sorts of things are what cause excitement in the American people, due to the fact that variables can cause unpredictable situations and uncertainty. It has been more than 40 years since a completely new perspective has hit the American people, and the energy to fuel it or diminish it has been trembling throughout our country.

There are many reasons accompanying the fact that great hysteria has been aroused in the American people. This “craze” as we can call it, has risen from the selection of our most recent president, Barack Obama. The forty-fourth president of the United States, is more famously known for his other number: the first black president of the United State. The first African American to hold this office, had also beat out what would have been another first; the first women president, Hillary Clinton. This competition stirred up the most radical supporters of the two minorities, to clash in a battle of votes. As the Obama campaign held strong, the next opponent was John McCain. An United States Senator from Arizona, McCain brought a flood of right winged voters to create the ultimate clash between conservatives and liberals. The rallying for each side occupied hours of media and the minds of all while choosing their ballots.

The newly elected President was also welcomed with excitement in another sense, as he replaced our forty-third president, President George W. Bush. Bush, weather admired or despised, was the leader in a time of chaos, ranging from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 up until what can almost be viewed as the second Great Depression. Throughout this era, the American people also experienced an ongoing war, as well as a natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina). The failure to rise quickly out of these ashes, left despair and little hope in the victimized nation for their leaders.

After September 11th 2001, the nation was heated, and the choice to go to war may have troubled many, but felt right for the rest. To avenge those lost in that horrible attack as well as persecuting those responsible, seemed like a solution. However, seven years later, and little results to show for many casualties, America is anxious to see its next move. To create different outcomes, new ideas are needed. With different notions on how to finish the war in Iraq, the President electees used this as a major political movement, causing support from those in which usually support a certain different party. The unpredictability causes chaos for some government planners, which is scary to those whom follow them.

Lastly the most close to home issue to affect the excitement in the 2008 election was the drop in the economy. America’s economy, a leader in the world market, recently slumped the lowest it has been since the Great Depression. Along with one nation’s fall, comes about the diminish of other powerful economies around the world. A grand gesture to this drop was our last President’s nine trillion dollar deficit. With these debts the country is increasing taxes and decreasing job availability. United States citizens as well as people everywhere hope for a rejuvenating economic plan from our next President.

For this 2008 Presidential election, I was born one year late, so physically had no involvement in voting for my next President. However, I was heavily interested to see what our past mayor, Giulliani, would do as he started the race. During the terrorist attacks, he was a major light in all the rubble, which made me want to see what he could do with grandeur things. Although, he dropped out early, my love of feminine equality possessed me to watch Hillary Clinton closely. Even though both these candidates weren’t in the final running, my economics as well as government class had heated discussions debating all propositions by the running mates. It was intriguing to see how my grandparents views of conservative ideas, and my parents on the edgier side of liberalism, really fit into the stereotypical predictions of the voting polls. The Palin- Biden debates were also fun to watch as another strong women stepped to the plate. However, this for me was personally funny as I watched Tina Fey with great amusement. I am jealous to have not been a driving factor in this election, yet to have viewed these historic moments makes the jealousy fade away.

How could the word unique not come up when referring to our newest President, Barack Obama. The first black president as well as a change from the average WASP. Although brave and new, others before him have also been called unique bringing their own “never-before seen” characteristics to the oval office. The most popular including Abraham Lincoln, lacking much schooling, JFK, Roman Catholic, and the youngest President elected, and Andrew Jackson, a rowdy man lacking the “proper manners” needed to lead the country. The one most that is most closely related to Obama in my mind happens to be Andrew Jackson. Not so different from his peers, Jackson had different outlooks on achieving success and didn’t care what others had to say about it. Just like Jackson, Obama, does what he feels is necessary to get things done without the distraction of race or religion. Also like Jackson, Obama doesn’t care what others think of the company he keeps, such as Obama’s outspoken minister.

Obama’s success will be greatly determined by his strength to keep on his own path. His ideas and plans are grand, but many others too were on that same trail until diffused ideas blur the path. In his first hundred days he has already set forth his plan to help health care by taxing cigarettes, thus against one of the biggest industries in America. Many other issues are tied into the slump in the economy which he has already targeted with a seven billion dollar stimulus plan. This is a tenacious move rather than waiting it out, and being aggressive he is put into the line of fire, and has so far stuck it out. His foreign diplomacy is soon to be tested, as he is about to take his first international trip as President to visit Canada and discuss certain affairs. Obama is a man of great poise and strength which is what can lead as well as defend the people of America, which happens to be the job description for the President of the United States.


We would like to wish Siobhan Brady the best of luck moving on to Assumption College—Worcester, MA. Congratulations!

“History is the only laboratory we have in which to test the consequences of thought.”
-Etienne Gilson

My name is Siobhan Brady, I am 17 years old and a senior about to graduate from Warwick Valley High School. I am excited to say that next Fall I will be attending Assumption College in Worcester, MA where I will be playing for their soccer team and possibly majoring in Pre-Med or Communications. My two favorite subjects in school are US History and communications.

I live in Warwick New York, with my parents, Maureen and Patrick, and my sister Meagan. My dad is currently a Lieutenant in the FDNY, while my mom works as a cardiac care nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital. The stories from both of their jobs helped create my own idea of an exciting and helping career in medicine.

As for hobbies, I’ve been playing soccer since I was five years old and have loved it ever since. I started all four years on my high school’s varsity team, and in Senior Year we were Section IX finalists. I was on 5th team All-State, and 2nd team All-Section. I also played in a league, where we placed 16th out of 125 teams in The Youth World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. Soccer has taught me desire and what it means to work for something. I have been Irish dancing since I was five, keeping up with the family ethnicity, and most recently competed in the North Eastern Regionals. Dancing is a means of expressing my creativity. These two competitive sports are leveled out by my more leisurely activities of skiing and snow boarding, which give me excuses to travel and hang out with friends. Lastly, my passion for Film had started with home videos with my friends and have turned into more entertaining films with the help of my school’s Communications Department.

Some tidbits about me are that my favorite movies are comedies, and especially “She’s the Man.” I listen to all types of music, including Taylor Swift, The Sawdoctors, and Lupe Fiasco, and my two favorite countries I have visited were Portugal and Sweden.

I come from a big family on both sides, which can bring a lot of diversity into my life. One of the most important things my family has taught me is to always have a sense of humor, don’t always take life so seriously. Being surrounded by people that I love and find funny always seems to revitalize me and helps me strive to work harder at whatever I’m doing.

Finally, I just want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the whole Santora family.

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