CONYERS – A Heritage High School freshman has placed third in Georgia in an essay contest designed to have students provide a deeper insight to common platitudes.

Jamie Gray took third place in the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest, which is a creative writing competition endorsed by the Georgia Rotary Districts Character Education Program. The Conyers Rotary Club recognized Gray Thursday with a ceremony and presentation. Bray’s essay, entitled “There Will Be Showers of Blessing,” is based on the Bible passage Ezekiel 34:26, which she interpreted as a way to deal with bullying.

The Laws of Life contest asked students in ninth through 12th grades to select a frequently used quote or saying, such as, “It is better to give than to receive,” or “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Students were then asked to give a profound meaning to their chosen adage and apply it to their lives, utilizing their creative writing capabilities to reflect on core values such as perseverance, compassion and courage.

Conyers Rotary Club Youth Director Diane Adoma noted that Gray’s essay marks the first time in a while that a Heritage student has placed in the contest.

“This is the first time that one of our students at Heritage has placed in the state competition in the past three years, and we congratulate Jamie on her essay and wish her well in her future endeavors,” Adoma stated. “It is truly a collaborative team effort with teachers, counselors, parents, business leaders and the Conyers Rotary Club.”

She said the contest provides an outlet for students, giving them a chance to express their feelings through creative writing.

“When these students write, it’s therapeutic. We have so many problems with violence and bullying, and this just gives them a chance to vent,” said Adoma. “When we’re selecting our winners, we want them to be creative — we want them to be in tune.”

With 49 schools participating, more than 40,000 high schoolers from across Georgia submitted Laws of Life essays. More than $17,000 will be allocated in student and teacher award money, and $50 will be awarded to each grade-level winner. Adoma stated that the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest is the largest Laws of Life contest in North America and it continues to grow.

“Each year we’ve had a total increase in the number of schools and students who participate,” Adoma concluded.

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