A pair of exceptional Huntington High School students turned in impressive performances in the Victor Baptiste essay contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese’s Long Island chapter.
Daniela Ramos and Anallely Reyes captured first and second place, respectively in the bilingual category of the annual competition. This year’s essay topic was: Which Spanish speaking person (living or deceased) would you like to change positions with for one day and why?
The teenagers were honored at a ceremony held at Great Neck South High School. Schools across Long Island were invited to submit up to five entries for the contest. Teachers from a variety of high schools served as contest judges. The names of contestants and their schools were not visible when the judges read the essays.
“I’m so proud of these two young ladies,” teacher Mercedes Peña said. “They are both bright, analytical, sweet and exemplary students. Daniela is very outspoken during class discussions and is never afraid to defend her beliefs, even if the majority of the class has the opposite perspective. Anallely is quiet in class, but you can see her powerful messages when she writes. They are both excellent writers in Spanish.”
The award winning Huntington students summarized their essays as follows:
Daniela Ramos – 1st Place in the bilingual category
“Having the opportunity to write this essay made me answer a question that we may all have asked ourselves sometime. Responding was a difficult thing because being a famous person for a day is quite complicated due to all the commitments and problems that happen. However I also have problems that I have been able to live with. Being someone famous is simply an added title, but even if I were someone else, I would do my best to be a human being that expresses love and solidarity towards others, because being famous you are in view of all, and if you are going to admire them for being famous they also admire you for emanating kindness, love, peace, sincerity and more specific for helping the world to change. That's why I decided to be Pope Francis, a person who besides believing in God believes in this world, just like me.”
Anallely Reyes – 2nd Place in the bilingual category
“Answering the task question was no easy job since there are a handful of famous people I would’ve chosen to be for a day. After thinking it through, I came to the conclusion that if I could go back and live the life of a famous person I would choose the amazing Frida Kahlo. After doing a little bit of research her story spoke to me after learning the different types of situations that she went through and still was able to be one of the world’s most recognized artists. I was able to make a connection between my life and hers and how sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to be able to succeed in life. Through Frida’s paintings we are able to see the many struggles she faced and how she expressed her problems through her paintings. This is one of the many characteristics that spoke to me on how many people can think it’s just a regular painting meanwhile one painting express a story behind it. This is where the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” comes to use by seeing the story expressed in just one picture.”