Fil-Am 6th-grader wins Andrew Stern (9/11) Memorial Essay Contest
EAST ROCKAWAY, NY — Twelve-year-old Danielle Ramos won first place in the elementary school category of the 2021 Andrew Stern memorial essay contest.
The annual contest honors East Rockaway graduate Andrew Stern, who was killed during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It is run by members of the Stern family, who read through more than 700 student responses. This year’s essay topic asked students to reflect on the ways in which 9/11 and the Covid-19 pandemic are similar, different or both.
Danielle Ramos read from her essay:
“Sadly, Covid-19 and 9/11 have also provoked discrimination within people of different races. 9/11 turned a few people against Muslims and the Coronavirus against the Chinese. If there’s one good thing that came out of these disastrous events, it would be that the world and people came together for each other. Citizens all over the world conveyed sympathies and prayers for those who have lost their lives during 9/11 & COVID. Countries have united to hopefully put an end to this virus. More value and appreciation were put on healthcare workers and other professions that were tagged as front liners. Now that Coronavirus is still rampant all over the world, people are complying and adjusting to the measures that the government has implemented with the goal to reduce the number of people that are getting infected. These two events have and will be a part of history. They will be remembered as times of sorrow and misery and will remind all people that there are things beyond our control. Let me end this piece with this quote by Earl Campbell, ‘If it weren’t for the dark days, we wouldn’t know what it is to walk in the light.’ We got through 9/11, we can get through COVID.”
A 6th grader at East Rockaway Elementary School, Danielle or Ella as she is fondly called, likes drawing and creating “mini stories/books.” She enjoys being the big sister to her baby brother, Teddy James. She is talented in the arts, her artwork having been chosen as an entry to her school’s art exhibit in the past.
“Ella did an excellent job addressing the essay contest topic,” said her proud mother, Geraldine Ramos, BSN, RN. “We didn’t know that it was an essay contest, we thought it’s just a regular homework. So, when we received the call from the principal that Ella won, we were very surprised and so was she! She still doesn’t realize she has a gift for writing, considering this is the second time she’s won an award for such.”
In 2017, Ella won districtwide among second graders for her entry in Flag Day Celebration.