Essay Contest to win a home

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Home-school Student Wins Top Prize In Stossel Essay Contest

An Arizona home-school student, Madeline Peltzer, age 15, has been awarded the top prize in Stossel in the Classroom’s annual essay contest. Her essay was chosen from among nearly 7, 000 essays submitted from around the country. Madeline won $1, 500, as well as an all-expense paid trip to New York City.

Stossel in the Classroom, a project of the non-profit Center for Independent Thought, provides free curriculum materials to teachers, using video clips from John Stossel’s television shows and specials.

For this contest, students, ages 12-18, were asked to write an essay about whether it is the government’s job to keep people healthy by restricting their food choices.

This is the second time that Madeline has won the first place spot. She also won in 2012.

What makes her so effective a writer at a rather young age? Here are questions Watchdog Wire put to her.

Stossel winnersWhat drives you to write essays?

I wrote my first prize-winning essay at age nine for our statewide home-school organization, Arizona Families for Home Education, but I started seriously writing after I took a home-school summer writing class at around age 11. The instructor told us how his daughters completely financed their educations by winning essay contests. They did not need the savings he’d set aside for them!

With that in mind, I submitted a creative writing piece that I had written for his class to Young Voices of America and won the first prize of $250. Then I discovered figure skating during the 2010 Winter Olympics. There are a lot of expenses involved, so I aggressively sought out essay contests and saved my winnings to help pay for lessons, costumes, competition fees, and VERY expensive skates! Since I am too young to work, essays have been the best way to help finance skating. Even if I don’t win, I always gain invaluable knowledge about the topic and excellent research and writing experience.


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