Morrow High School senior Lindsey Perry recognizes her parents at the Augustin Clayton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s “Good Citizen” recognition ceremony Saturday. Perry was named the chapter’s overall “Good Citizen” of the year during the event.
JONESBORO Every American has the ability to be a good citizen buried inside them, according to Morrow High School senior Lindsey Perry.
Perry, 17, wrote on the topic of citizenship as part of the “Good Citizen” scholarship competition sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The contest calls on high school seniors like Perry to write a 550-word essay that explains what it means to be a good citizen.
They also must write about how they feel people can exude the traits of a good citizen.
Perry said she wrote her essay on how Americans can protect their country by fighting for it like the patriots did when the country was founded in 1776. The way to do that, she said, was to get people to simply practice good citizenship skills in their everyday lives.
“People should all continue trying to be good citizens,” said Perry. “This shouldn’t just be a high school thing. This should continue on throughout all of our lives, through college, throughout all of our careers. Everybody can truly be a good citizen if they put their heart and mind to it.”
The high school senior’s ideas on living a life of good citizenship paid off over the weekend. The Augustin Clayton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution named Perry as its “Good Citizen” of the year Saturday.
She was one of nine Clayton County high school seniors who qualified as finalists for the chapter award. Each high school in the county nominated a senior to be its “Good Citizen” of the year.
The chapter reviewed those students’ academic and extracurricular resumes and citizenship essays to pick its chapter “Good Citizen.” The academic and extracurricular resumes count for 70 percent of a student’s score and the essay counts for the remaining 30 percent.
“I am sure that each one of the students here today has chosen to conduct himself or herself in an exemplary way and they are already reaping the benefits from this,” said Janet Sterling, president of the Augustin Clayton Chapter. “We just want to wish each of them continued success in their education and their future.”
Other “Good Citizen” finalists include: Forest Park High School senior Justin Vo, Jonesboro High School senior Mylon Craig, Lovejoy High School senior Audrey Metcalf, Mt. Zion High School senior Arafat Etuazim, Mundy’s Mill High School senior Christana Fagbile and North Clayton High School senior LaScarlett Ross.
The chapter awarded its separate American History Essay Award to M.D. Roberts Middle School seventh-grader Princess Rucker. She wrote her essay on a little known patriot named Lewis H. Morgan, who went by the name Henry Lewis.
“When I was writing this essay, I was basically looking for someone to write about,” said Rucker. “I found him on the Internet and I thought he was a good person to write about because you never really hear many people talk about him. So, I’m pretty sure most people don’t know about him.”
Each student recognized at the ceremony received a $50 check from the chapter, according to Rosemary Pinson, the chapter’s “Good Citizen” chairperson.
Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Luvenia Jackson told the finalists and their parents that it was rewarding to see students who stood out against the negative reputation high school students sometimes have.
Jackson attended the ceremony as an invited guest of the Augustin Clayton Chapter.
“They’re here because they want to be, because they’ve chosen to do some things and they have that excitement and ownership of that,” Jackson said. “Continue to do what you’re doing and make us all as proud of you in the future as we are right now.”
Perry’s application will now be forwarded for district-level “Good Citizen” honors. District winners can advance to compete for a state title and possibly national “Good Citizen” honors. Scholarships are awarded to winners at the state and national levels.
“It feels good, to be completely honest,” said Perry of the honor. “It’s just nice to know all my hard work throughout high school paid off.”
This marks the second consecutive year a Morrow High School student has won the award.
Last year, Morrow senior Ashley Storey — who once participated in the Governor’s Honor Program with Perry — won the citizenship award. Perry said they were also in the Model United Nations program together at Morrow.
Perry has been accepted to the Georgia Institute of Technology, but she said she is still waiting to hear if she will also be accepted to Agnes Scott College. She is currently a dual-enrollment student taking classes at Morrow and Clayton State University.
She plans to study business in college.