Hope Essay Contest Winners
Glacier City Gazette partnered with the town of Hope, Alaska to feature the talented writings of Hope’s youngest visitors and locals. Students were asked to compose an essay based on their memories of the their time in town or to share why they love Hope. A collection of beautiful writings were submitted, and winners were chosen in both Elementary and Junior/Senior High divisions. The second place winner in each group will be awarded a ribbon of achievement and $25. The overall winner in each group will receive a ribbon, a $100 award, and their essays are presented here in the Gazette.
A special recognition is given to the following second place writers: Ellie Stehn, grade 1, and Ryder Skaaren, grade 8. And the while there were a great many considerations in the selection of the essays, the following essays were selected as the top submissions. We feel sure they will be as great a delight to you as they were to the selection committee.
“What I Love About Hope”
By Beverly Jabaay, Grade 2
I love Hope because it is fun, helpful, joyful and loving. I like it when we go on a hike. We picked millions of blueberries! And I love Hope because there is a lot of space to build. My family is building a gazebo in Hope. We like to build things. My family is also going to buy Bear Creek Lodge in Hope.
And there is also a lot of wildlife. I think it’s important to treat animals the way you want to be treated. We do a lemonade stand right in front of our cabin, and we saw a bear going past us. It went to Bear Creek right next to us. I just ran inside.
This year, my mom and I planted a big garden. That was fun to see everything grow. It’s really easy to grow.
We also have a bunny. His name is Mr. Clover. Our bunny lives under our motor home in a cage, and a wild bunny comes and visits him. We live close to a carved fish, and we own cabins so that people can visit us.
I think everyone should come to Hope sometime because it is a great place to live.
“Why I Love Hope”
By Dagny Cunningham, Grade 11
Imagine a place where life stands still, when the world outside of town borders melts away and fades into distant sun kissed recollections. This is the town I grew up in, Hope, where time is nothing more than a half-fleshed concept, no more relevant than distant and insignificant stars.
Eventually, however, I broke from this bubble. Eighth grade – when I finally ventured into the world of Anchorage, the world of schedules, appointments, homework, classes. The world had suddenly rose to a stunning cacophony of meaningless white noise. I fell into this life, fell into a routine that over time became second nature to me, the lull of Hope, Alaska behind me. My occasional weekends were no longer enough to soothe my racing heart and mind. The summers became lackadaisical. The one after 8th grade passed, then 9th. Unappreciated, for they could not keep up with the new pace I had learned to keep in step with.
This summer was my third reprieve from Anchorage life. It was different. It was as if all the scattered pieces of my fragmented mind finally came back together and fixed the cracks forming in my psyche. I wrote this essay not on memories, not on advice, because that could never do it justice.
As a general rule, I don’t enjoy summer. It feels like a lull, too slow to soothe the woes of my craving workaholic heart; but this summer is different. This one is strong enough to remind me why I hold this town so near to my heart.
I love this town not because of what it is but because of what it does. It, in a world so full of chaos, has found a patch of calm waters. Hope, if you succumb to its charms, can take away an aching heart. For all its flaws, its beauty could steal away the most tyrannical cynic. It finds life in simplicity, in a two-lane highway and worn dirt roads, in a one room convenience store and historical buildings revamped for modern usage. I love this town because it’s nestled amongst the other precious gems within my soul, no matter how far away my feet may stray.