• History essays lead to scholarships

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The Friends of the Frontier Army Museum will accept submissions for its fourth annual history essay contest Feb. 1 through April 1.
    The contest is open to students in ninth- through 12th-grades who attend schools near Fort Leavenworth.
    The 2019 theme is “The Faces Behind the Names.” Applicants are to choose one historical monument, building or landmark on Fort Leavenworth that is named after someone and explain his or her association with Fort Leavenworth.
    “We wanted a topic that would help get students interested in the history of Fort Leavenworth. There are so many streets, buildings and monuments named after interesting people,” said Stephanie Hixson, FFAM vice president. “The FFAM board thought it would be a fun and interesting topic for students to research. Hopefully, they will learn about a historical figure and their association with Fort Leavenworth.”
    Submissions should be 1,000-1,500 words and double spaced with references. Only hard copy submissions are accepted with a postmark date of March 29. Essays and entry forms should be mailed to: Friends of the Frontier Army Museum, ATTN: Essay Contest, P.O. Box 3113, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 66027.
    Essays will be judged for four traits — focus and details; organization; sentence structure, grammar, mechanics and spelling; and research and bibliography.
    Winners will receive a cash award — $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. The first-place winner will be asked to read his or her essay to FFAM members at the FAM Museum Night May 7. All winners will be awarded their cash prizes that night as well.
    Morgan Savage, last year’s first-place winner, is currently a freshman at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and is studying industrial engineering. She is also a part of the Air Force ROTC program and plans to commission into the Air Force after her graduation. She said being chosen for first place was a great feeling.
    “I spent plenty of time researching and writing so getting first place felt like a culmination of my efforts,” Savage said. “The money came in handy. I’m currently a freshman at Kansas State University, and what I have found is that every scholarship helps.”
    Savage said she learned a lot writing her essay, and encouraged other students to enter this year’s contest.
    “I wrote about daily life, challenges and hardships on the frontier for Western settlers. In writing this, I found out just how difficult life was for the pioneers. I don’t think I would have survived,” Savage said. “The Frontier Army Museum has so many informational displays and historical items that allow people to have a glimpse of the past. It is a resource that needs not to be forgotten.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This opportunity taught me proper research techniques. I found articles, books and primary resources from the times of the pioneers. It was an adventure looking through all that knowledge, but it has helped me in college to process and write about large amounts of information,” she said. “This year’s topic is very exciting. I wish I had this opportunity again. Researching Fort Leavenworth is cool because you can talk about your knowledge even after the contest finishes.”
    For more information, e-mail essaycontest.ffam@gmail.com. For entry forms and the complete rules, visit ffam.us.
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