Whidbey high school senior wins state DAR Good Citizen Award
April 8, 2011 · Updated 7:24 AM
One excellent South Whidbey citizen used her writing talents to win a place in history.
The Whidbey Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently presented South Whidbey High School student Angelica Janda with the 2011 Daughters of the Revolution Good Citizen Award. Janda received the award at the Good Citizens Tea at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Clinton on March 26.
“She is the most humble, graceful young lady I have ever met,” said Daughters of the American Revolution regent Sally Buckingham.
“She is very conscious of her peers and very respectful of her community. So when she came to us and had to read her essay, she was eloquent, poised, answered very diligently and was very appreciative of the award,” Buckingham added.
Janda won the award based on her 3.93 grade-point average, her intrepid involvement in community service and an essay that each entrant must write on the spot with no preparation. The topic focused on how the outcome of the American Revolution affects modern Americans. Janda titled her spontaneous, hand-written essay, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It.”
In one section of the piece, Janda wrote: “Our American heritage is a mixture of all those who came to this land for freedom. Our American heritage is that of the revolutionaries — those who fought for what they believed in. It is our responsibility not only to preserve, but to continually stand by what we believe ... Although there are many cultures and traditions celebrated in this great nation, the underlying factor in all of them is the desire for respect. Acceptance and tolerance of our differences is our response to our history of repression ... it is our duty to the world to preserve and live our American heritage.”
“She hit the nail on the head with her essay among the 29 others from around Washington state,” Buckingham said.
“She won first place at the Whidbey Island level, and also at the state level,” she added.
Janda will receive her state award on April 29 in Redmond, and will go on to compete at the district level, which includes five Northwest states.
Janda was recommended, along with several other students, to compete for the Good Citizen Award by counselors and teachers at South Whidbey High School.
The students who are chosen are given only one piece of paper on which to write about any given topic.
“The award is not given easily,” Buckingham noted.
“We have so many talented young people here on the island. It’s amazing. I wish I could get to more schools with this award. These are our future leaders,” she said.
Janda, who has won the President’s Award and the AAUW Science Honor, is a Key Club member and has been working with Hearts & Hammers for five years. She also volunteers for the Chum Run, the Compass Center and Island Girls Live Your Dreams Day Camp, and was a volunteer fundraiser for the school’s Spanish club and for Whidbey Children’s Theater. In college, she plans to continue her studies in biology and Spanish and to minor in Japanese, with an eye toward a doctorate’s degree in marine biology.
“I know Angelica will do well,” Buckingham said.
“She was very emphatic about being a marine biologist, and becoming a professor. She is extremely aware of environmental conservation,” she said. “She is just an amazing young lady.”