Youngsville senior Mineweaser national contest winner with ‘Americanism’ promotion essay

Youngsville High School senior Paige Mineweaser has penned a nationally-awarded essay.

Mineweaser entered her 496-word paper in the local American Legion Auxiliary Americanism Essay Contest. The prompt for the essay was, “What can I personally do to promote Americanism in my school or community?”

Her essay was picked as the winner of that contest. The Youngsville Women’s Auxiliary then sent her essay to the state level. She won at the state level, too.

The Youngsville Women’s Auxiliary planned to honor Mineweaser for her essay during a presentation on Wednesday. What they didn’t know was that Mineweaser’s essay was also a winner at the national level. Mineweaser broke the news to Auxiliary members during Wednesday’s presentation.

Auxiliary President Phyllis Westover was visibly emotional and proud when Mineweaser told her the good news.

“It is so amazing that she was picked as a winner,” Westover said. “I’m so excited for her that I can hardly stand to read the letter.”

Mineweaser received a $100 check for winning at the state level and a $50 check for winning at the national level. An additional $50 was donated in her name to the American Legion Auxiliary’s Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship fund.

Mineweaser has been accepted into the Physician’s Assistant Program at Gannon University, where she will start in the fall.

Her essay follows:

“Americanism is a matter of the mind and heart: Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race and ancestry. A good American is one who is loyal to this country and to our creed of liberty and democracy.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943). As a senior in high school I have multiple opportunities to promote Americanism throughout my school and community, including demonstrating respect towards the flag, honoring veterans, and establishing and promoting patriotic organizations.

“Presently we are witnessing multiple protests towards one of the most meaningful symbols of our country, our flag. With major influencers, such as professional athletes showing so little respect for our flag, the American people are right to take offense. These men and women are to act as role models and set good examples for the children of America. So, despite their careless actions, I take responsibility to also influence the lives of my peers and underclassmen by showing my utmost respect towards the flag. One way I can do so is by demonstrating my admiration to the flag before sporting events during the playing of the national anthem. I am also able to show respect by standing and focusing on the most valued symbol of our great country during the morning announcements as we say the Pledge of Allegiance. As stated by Republican Representative Joe Barton, “Our flag honors those who have fought to protect it, and is a reminder of the sacrifice of our nation’s founders and heroes. As the ultimate icon of America’s stored history, the stars and stripes represents the very best of this nation.”

“In addition to honoring our flag, I also participate in local events on or around patriotic holidays. Throughout my 13 years of schooling I have actively taken part in many Veteran’s Day assemblies through essay and poster contests within the school. I also participated in the Applebee’s Veteran’s Day special where we provide free meals for any veteran on November 11th. This was a very humbling experience because it felt nice to be able to give back to someone who has been so unselfishly protected and defended our country. Similarly, I could organize patriotic floats for parades or organize other community events centered around the promotion of Americanism. Another way to actively participate in promoting Americanism is to organize a fund raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project or another non-profit benefiting our veterans. This can be held within the school or outside in the community through our local businesses.

“In conclusion, Americanism includes any traditions, institutions, or ideals of the United States. So, to ensure that I am always doing everything possible to promote Americanism within my community I will always remember to respect our flag, honor our veterans, participate in patriotic holidays, and promote or donate to organizations benefiting our veterans and country. While these are only a few ways I can personally encourage Americanism, I will constantly be striving to do more for the land of the free.”