A project that a Dana Hills High School student did for extra class credit has earned her a national honor. Kaitie Pappert is one of 10 winners of this year's National Conversation Essay Contest, sponsored by Voice of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
"I was really surprised when they called," Pappert, a 16-year-old junior, said of the contest's organizers. "I never entered the contest to win. I entered because it was for extra credit."
Her teachers were not so surprised. "Kaitie is just a fabulous girl," said Nancy McIntyre, Pappert's teacher for an advanced placement U.S. history class. "She has always been an incredible writer with lots of imagination and creativity, but she's also a great historian."
The contest invited high school students to submit essays of 350 words or less answering the question, "What Does it Mean to Be an American?" The focus could be on racial, political or religious ideas that unite the country.