The Law Office of David E. Gordon hosted their first ever scholarship contest this year. We asked applicants to answer the following prompt in an essay or video:
WHAT CAN BE DONE IN OUR SOCIETY TO PROMOTE A GREATER RESPECT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT? You must submit an original essay of no more than 600 words or an original video of no longer than two minutes that addresses the this topic.
We received many fantastic entries but could only choose two winners. Our two scholarship winners are:
1ST: SHARON LIN
Sharon is a high school senior who will be pursuing a degree in Computer Science. She describes herself as “an aspiring computer science researcher and entrepreneur” who has founded two organizations:
- StuyHacks, a student-run hackathon taking place in Manhattan that seeks to expose as many high school students as possible to the creativity and innovation that technology brings, and
- BitxBit Camp, a free weeklong computer science daycamp for middle school girls in the greater New York City area.
In addition, she has been featured on Fox 5 New York, Voice of America, The Huffington Post, Crains, and several other media outlets, and has written for KidSpirit Online, AFA, Imagine, and Muse Magazine. She is also a White House Champion of Change and the New York City Youth Poet Laureate.
Watch Sharon’s video submission:
2ND: KATHRYN BARRETT
Kathryn is pursuing a degree in Horticulture from Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota.
She enjoys working her family’s farm, working outdoors, and teaching young children about life outdoors and farming. She describes herself as “driven individual” with “Jesus as the central focus” of her life.
Kathryn’s essay submission:
DISRESPECT OR RESPECT
The candy was being caught by children and parents alike, until an unfortunate passerby was hit by a piece. After this grievance, policemen were sent to the rooftop in order to discourage the candy throwers. Every child or teen on the roof obeyed the policemen except one. This girl behaved stubbornly and rudely towards the police. Why would a girl not much older than my own seventeen years behave in such a blatantly defiant display towards authority? I did not understand this girl or her reaction towards the policemen because my parents raised me to respect those in authority over me. However, countless parents nowadays disregard teaching their children this vital lesson; therefore, numerous individuals today behave atrociously towards police officers. I believe that parents need to teach respect for authority to their children in order for society as a whole to develop more respect for law enforcement.
How is this accomplished? One easy way for parents to teach their children respect for law enforcement is to have respect for law enforcement themselves. As Julie Sander, a mother and blogger said, “A child’s attitude towards police begins with a parent’s attitude towards police,” (Sander). If parents are constantly complaining or negatively referring to policemen, then children will reflect the same attitudes as their parents. However, if a child’s parents are praising policemen for capturing villains or encouraging to the men and women of the force continuing to perform the actions of their jobs, then this child will add these characteristics to him or herself too. This is one of the simplest approaches for parents to teach respect for authority to their children.
Another technique that parents can utilize to teach their children respect for law enforcement is to pray for law enforcement. Prayer is a powerful speaking tool that everyone possesses, and if a parent begins to pray with his or her child for individuals serving the community as policemen, it will become difficult for this child to harbor anger or bitterness towards policemen. In the Bible, it says that we are supposed to pray for those who persecute us. This is an extremely difficult concept for anyone to accomplish; however, it is possible with God, and if a child watches a parent praying for those police officers that he or she does not believe are upholding the law, then not only will this child gain respect for law enforcement, but the child will learn to pray for those whom he or she considers persecutors in his or her own life as well.
In conclusion, society as a whole can change to respect law enforcement through teaching respect to the younger generation. No one is perfect; therefore, mistakes by both policemen and citizens are expected. However, if the younger generation is taught how to work through these problems through their actions and prayer, society can totally change into a place that views police officers with both respect and as individuals who will make mistakes. The question is, will you teach the next generation disrespect or respect for law enforcement?