DMS student places fourth in statewide essay contest

Published 4:10 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

DPD Chief Tommie Reese presents Lara Little with her $75 check for placing fourth in the Alabama Peace Officers' Association essay contest. They are with DMS principal Blaine Hathcock.

DPD Chief Tommie Reese presents Lara Little with her $75 check for placing fourth in the Alabama Peace Officers’ Association essay contest. They are with DMS principal Blaine Hathcock.

Each year, the Alabama Peace Officers’ Association holds a statewide eighth-grade essay contest on the subject “Why I Will Say No to Alcohol and Drugs,” and this year, Demopolis Middle School student Lara Little won fourth place in the contest.

Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese, who is also the Ninth District Vice President for the association, presented Little with a $75 check for her achievement.

“She is the first to win in Demopolis in five or six years,” Reese said. “Middle schools throughout Alabama participate in this contest, and hopefully this will be an encouragement to other students to want to do the same thing.”

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Little said she is honored to have placed fourth in the contest.

“It really is an honor,” she said. “It took me about a week to write it. I guess I’m kind of a perfectionist.”

She also said she isn’t sure what she is going to do with her newly acquired $75.

Megan Edmonds is her language arts teacher at DMS.

Little’s essay is below.

Why I Will Say NO to Alcohol and Drugs!

People in this day and age like to use the phrase, “YOLO!” (Yolo: you only live once). Peers use this phrase to help convince others to use drugs or alcohol. But if you only live once then why waste your time doing things, like drugs or alcohol, you know can’t and won’t benefit you. I have three main reasons for writing this essay, and my goal is to share with you my personal point of view on the topic. So, if I may have a few minutes of your time to shed some light on the situation and maybe convince you to make a better choice; then read on and please keep an open mind.

My first reason that I abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol is because of the amount of respect I have for my parents. I’ve been raised in a loving and nurturing home. My parents have always supported me in ever aspect of life. So, I don’t think that they deserve for me to be a troublesome child after how much respect they’ve given me. They have always had high expectations of me because they know what I am capable of, and I don’t plan on letting them down any time soon.

Secondly, I love to play sports and be outside. I’ve been a softball player since before I can remember. My life revolves around it, and I wouldn’t be the same person without it. I think that softball is a huge part of the reason that I’ve kept away from drugs and alcohol. I love to play and I know that the consequences for the use of these things would be giving up softball. I don’t think that getting drunk or getting high and fitting in is as important as doing what makes you happy.

My last and possibly most important is the way I feel towards drugs and alcohol. I’ve only been around people while they were using these things a few times in my life. When I was around them they were sloppy, loud, and annoying. I don’t want to ever be in a state of mind that makes me act that way. I know what I want to do with my life, and using these substances don’t fit into the puzzle. I’m a born again Christian. In the Bible, God tells us that our bodies are our temples, and that we shouldn’t abuse them. I for one, refuse to abuse my temple.

In conclusion, I believe that people are happier, healthier, and all around a better person when they refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs. I know that from staying away from taking part in any actions to do with alcohol and drugs I have had far more opportunities than I would if I would’ve been drunk or high. Like me having the opportunity to write this essay that will hopefully make a difference in peoples’ lives.