Antioch students honored by Fleet Reserve Association for patriotic essays

Gary Blackburn, past National President of the Fleet Reserve Association, with Paideia Academy essay award winners Hugo Cortes, Khaaliq Parker-Thomas, and Eddy Crowder.  Also pictured is Eddy’s sister Heidi Crowder. Photo by Sheri Crowder.

On Wednesday, May 24, the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) honored three Antioch students for winning first place at their respective grade levels in the annual FRA Americanism Essay Competition.  The theme for this year’s competition was, “What Memorial Day Means to Me.”

The three students, all of whom attend Paideia Academy, are: 7th grader Khaaliq Parker-Thomas, 8th grader Eddy Crowder, and 10th grader Hugo Cortes.  Each of the students was presented with a cash prize and an American flag that had been flown over the United States Capitol.  They were hosted at a dinner held at the Veterans Memorial Building in Vallejo.

Gary Blackburn, past National President of FRA, expressed his appreciation for the students, and for Paideia Academy, which has seen students entering the competition for over a decade.

“We are very pleased to receive the essays from the Paideia students every year,” he said.  “Patriotism is something we, as veterans, value very highly, and working with a school that emphasizes this important character trait gives us great satisfaction.”

Sheri Crowder, Administrator for the school shared her thoughts.

“We consider it a great privilege to be able to enter the patriotic writing and speaking competitions,” she said. “It gives the students an opportunity to develop their research and writing skills.  It helps to teach the students how to focus their thoughts, and express them in a clear, logical way.”

“It also gives students the opportunity to think of something and someone bigger than themselves,” Crowder continued. “Most importantly, it gives all of us the opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories.  It never fails to amaze me that in our attempt to honor veterans, we come away blessed and honored by them. Thank you to all the veterans.”

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2 Comments to “Antioch students honored by Fleet Reserve Association for patriotic essays”

  1. Marty Fernandez says:

    Congratulations Eddie, again! Marty and Nancy

  2. Arne says:

    Congratulations to these three outstanding students 🙂
    Arne Simonsen, Master Chief Petty Officer, USN-Retired

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