The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Sophia Silverstein:
2014 Winner
P.S. 2

Sophia Silverstein

Winning Essay

Legends and heroes have been around for thousands of years. There are many people who have had and have qualities that make them worthy of these titles. There are two people in my opinion that stand out as a legend and a hero. These two people have impacted the lives of thousands of people in positive ways and have inspired many to pursue their dreams.

Amelia Earhart is someone that I consider a hero. Her bravery, determination and spirit make her someone that I look up to. As you might know, many years ago women did not have the same opportunities they have today. They were expected to pursue careers such as teaching and nursing. Amelia had other ideas! She was the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean! She helped break the barrier for women’s rights. Her determination helped her to live out her dream piloting a plane and she demonstrated that women can do whatever they set their minds to. I aspire to be like her one day and follow in her footsteps as I pursue my dreams and goals.

A legend is someone who is remembered for their perilous actions for the good of many others. I consider Chris Santora a legend because he sacrificed his life to save the lives of others. He put his safety and his own life second to the needs of those who were suffering and unable to help themselves. Chris not only gave his life but left us his story. We should all learn from his bravery and selflessness. If more people worried about the needs of others and helped those in need, the world would be a better place to live in. His memory lives on in all of our actions. Every time we help others in need, we are honoring his memory and celebrating his life.

Amelia Earhart and Chris Santora have changed our world forever. Unfortunately, both people died very young, but they died doing what they loved most. To prove this point, Amelia showed women that their dreams could be a reality and Chris showed how being selfless can help you live on forever in the memory of others. Heroes and legends live on in all of us. As long as we continue to try and become better people than we were yesterday, their memories will live on. Amelia and Chris were two remarkable people that inspire others to be upstanders and to live your best life doing what you love most!


My name is Sophia Silverstein. I am 11 years old. I have two brothers, Nicholas, who is 9 and Alexander, who is 2. My favorite quote is “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” by Dr. Seuss. I think this quote is very meaningful because each of us is unique and special in our own way!

My family and I love to travel. We enjoy visiting new cities and states and exploring together. We also love the beach, zoos, aquariums and museums. One of my favorite things to do is spend special time with my parents. My mom and I love to have “girls only” lunches and go to the city to see Broadway shows. Some shows we saw are Aladdin, Annie, Matilda, Phantom of the Opera and Lion King. I wish I could see one every day!! My Dad takes me for manicures and pedicures and then he takes me for the best cupcake desserts ever!

I have many dreams for my future. I plan to continue to do my best and achieve my goals. I hope someday to get into one of my dream schools, either Harvard or Yale. I believe with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. One person who inspires me is Stephen Hawking. Even though Stephen is paralyzed and communicates through a speech device, he has not allowed anything to stop him from pursuing his dreams. He is an accomplished researcher and scientist. This proves to me you can achieve your goals with determination and a great attitude!

I am not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up but I do know that my career will be focused on helping people or animals in need. I am interested in many things from becoming a brain surgeon to opening a shelter that helps injured and endangered animals.

I am very athletic and love to dance. I play softball and attend ballet, modern and hip hop dance classes. I am enrolled in American Ballet Theatre classes and have to pass an exam every year based on my skills and technique. I love playing in the championship game and performing at the end of year recital!

In conclusion, I am extremely thankful for my family, the opportunities I have, and I am hopeful for a dynamic future filled with adventure and exploration.

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