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Sisters Dominate Fil-Am Essay Writing Contest in Chicago

Florence Almeda
The Almeda Family in Chicago, USA can take pride since two of its children have won first place in the Philippine Independence Week Committee’s (PIWC) essay writing contests held in the years 2014 and 2016.

Given the topic of “advantages and disadvantages of using email” in this year’s PIWC Essay Writing Contest of which 12 students participated.

Florence Almeda, currently a sophomore in the University of Chicago Laboratory School argued on the “cons” of email and won first prize.

“In order to truly enjoy relationships and build lifelong connections, we must take a moment to step back, sign out of our emails, close our computer screens, and open our hearts to others around us.” Almeda wrote.

Almeda cited that in contrast to the days when her parents corresponded in school and at work, the dynamics of society has changed a lot.

“For many people of my age, it’s hard to believe that our parents did not grow up with the same type of technology. I would estimate that there has not been one day this entire year that I have not checked my email.” she said.

In fact, when she was given typing lessons in 3rd grade she hated it Florence related.

Acknowledging that using email is just technology and it is not good enough in interacting with her peers since it lacks the “personal touch”.  “The increased use of technology, including email, has served to raise a generation of youths that are prone to insensitivity and resistance to face-to-face interactions….” This could even lead to be unfeeling and rude when communication with people and somehow enables them to be irresponsible in facing the consequences of their actions when conveying messages.

The top five essayists received a cash prize on June 18 during the PIWC Gala at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel. The third, fourth and fifth place winners, respectively were Reijhay Vargas, an 8th grader at Lincoln Jr. High School, Benjamin Lortie, a freshman at Streamwood High school, and Nichol Rivas, a 7th grader at Joseph E. Gary Elementary School.

The cash prizes ranged from $250 to $50 and were presented to the essayists.

The essays were inspirational according to Jo Wee Sit, judge and chair of the PIEC Essay Writing contest.

In 214, it was Florence’s sister Francine who won the essay writing contest with the topic of “living the American Dream”.

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