By David Fleet
On Jan. 5, the Genesee Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution recognized the annual winners of the Good Citizen awards, at the Court Street United Methodist Church, 225 West Court St., Flint.
This year ten Genesee area schools participated recognizing high school seniors who exhibit the qualities of good citizenship in their homes, schools, and communities. Requirements for the students selected as the school’s DAR Good Citizen include dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. In addition, an essay is required for the award. The focus of this years essay was, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving it.” The essays answered the question: You and your peers are our nation’s leaders of tomorrow. How would you energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens? Why is that important?
This year Goodrich Senior Abigail Main, 18, finished third in competition.
Main is a GHS National Honor Society member, serves on student council and dance team member. She will attend either the University of Michigan Ann Arbor or Grand Valley State University this fall to study nursing. In addition, Main is a choreographer for the upcoming school spring play titled, “Working.” For her senior Capstone project she is choreographing dance as a means to benefit child development.
Atlas Township resident Carol Powers is the Vice Regent Genesee chapter DAR.
“The Genesee Chapter DAR is pleased to sponsor this yearly contest which showcases the many hard working talented seniors in Genesee County High Schools,” said Powers. “This award, created in 1934 to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship, is widely recognized as a very high achievement and can be used on resumes’ and applications.”
Abigail is the daughter of Greg and Jennie Main of Grand Blanc.
“You and your peers are our nation’s leaders of tomorrow. How would you energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens? Why is that important?” From page 7
By Abigail Main
American ideals and principles throughout history have remained consistent and survived the weathering of time. Today, American society still revolves around the ideals that our Fathers and working men and women have laid down for us: the pursuit of happiness, freedom of expression, resilience, and hard work. These do not encapsulate all of the principles Americans have, but rather they provide a basis for how its citizens function. Every week when I volunteer at my dance studio teaching ballet or tap to little girls, I am helping emphasize America’s founding ideals. Through dance, the little girls at my studio are taught the importance of resilience. They might be more willing to try something new and not be afraid of failing because they understand they might not get the movement on the first try. The resilient men and women kept fighting in (any) war despite the horrid and dangerous conditions they were under. Along with resilience, comes hard work which has shown through many different decades throughout American history. Women worked hard in factories while the men were fighting overseas during World War 2, and in the 1950s more people after high school were continuing their education at a university. The hard work and dedication dance class teaches these kids is unlike any other activity. While these little girls are not out on the battlefield by any means, they are still learning and understanding the basis of resilience and hard work which they will hopefully carry into adulthood.
The pursuit of happiness has been one of the most popular American principles since the birth of the country. Having the girls do what they love, whether it’s dance or not, is an important lesson they need to learn. Dance will hopefully show them that they are allowed and encouraged to do activities and study what they like. If the girls are not motivated to learn when they are kids, they will not be motivated to work when they are adults. Another important American principle is freedom of expression. Teaching dance lets kids express how they think or feel. They have the opportunity to communicate their emotions through dance in whatever way they want, because in this country they have that right. Dancing is a platform kids can use to find their pursuit of happiness, show resilience, hard work, or express themselves in many ways that they can take into the real world one day. The girls at my dance studio will hopefully grow up to be citizens with positive mindsets and a strong work ethic and have dancing to thank because of that. They will not give up because dance, like the principles of our country, taught them that resilience is key to success. They will not stop working hard because they know the dedication it takes to accomplish what they set out to do. They will not be afraid to express themselves because of the rights this country has granted them. And they will not succumb to others’ ideas of success because they will follow their own pursuits. The dancers/youth of America I helped teach will grow up to be the epitome of hard working, efficient, American citizens.