Herzog Foundation announces winning students in Bill of Rights Essay Contest

The Herzog Foundation has announced the two winners and seven runners-up in its 2022 Bill of Rights essay contest for middle and high school students.

Middle schooler Jake Starkey from Northland Christian School in Kansas City, Missouri and high schooler Emily Tannel from St. Augustine School in Colgate, Wisconsin took the two top prizes.

“The Bill of Rights was ratified over 230 years ago and still stands as a beacon for our most fundamental rights as Americans,” said Todd Graves, chairman of the Herzog Foundation. “It’s crucial that all young students understand the significance of this founding document.”

The essay contest was open to middle and high school students currently enrolled in a Christian school or homeschool. Contestants wrote up to three pages on the following questions: 

What made the Bill of Rights so revolutionary and unique when it was ratified? How has the Bill of Rights shaped our country?  

The award-winning answers emphasized patriotism and individual freedom.  

“In creating the Constitution, it was decided that the founding fathers would write each amendment with the idea that the government should not have full control,” Jake wrote in his essay. “Today all of these rights are constantly under attack by corporations like media and news outlets, which is why it is important to remember the first amendment. This amendment gives me the pride to know that this idea of a truly free country has influenced the entire world.”  

“The Bill of Rights remains at the center of the Constitution and symbol of rights, and now to save them America needs to learn and respect it and all that it stands for,” Emily argued in her essay. “The biggest way to fight against this encroachment of our rights is to learn about what our rights are.”  

Jake and Emily each won a $250 award from the Herzog Foundation while the seven runners-up won $100. The students’ schools also won cash prizes. 

The Herzog Foundation, which publishes The Lion, is a charitable organization dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating the development of quality Christ-centered K-12 education.  

“Too many young people are losing sight of the civic values that characterize American democracy,” said Darrell Jones, president of the Herzog Foundation. “Many families and schools even shy away from celebrating our country and founding documents. This is unacceptable. At the Herzog Foundation, we want to reward students and schools that not only recognize our fundamental American beliefs, but celebrate them as well.”