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Teen places in top 10 in essay contest

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By Gina Clear

Jennifer Pinto loves to write, but until she took a contest entry form off her English teacher’s bulletin board, she had never thought about winning a writing contest.

The Elizabethtown High School junior’s essay, “Snowflakes: Dazzlingly Deceptive,” was chosen among the top 10 out of thousands of entries in a national contest sponsored by Creative Communications. Jennifer will be honored for her achievement tonight at the Elizabethtown Independent Schools Board of Education meeting.

When Jennifer received an email notifying her she had won, she stared at it for five minutes, she said.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. This can’t be happening right now,’” she said. “I entered because I love writing. I never thought I would win.”

Her English teacher, JoAnna Breunig, was pleasantly surprised, too, she said.

To be chosen as among top 10 of the contest was a humbling experience for Jennifer and a boost to her confidence, she said.

“It was super humbling. I’m always grateful for what I’ve been given,” she said. “I’ve entered other contests since then.”

Jennifer, who wants to pursue an English degree so she can teach, received special recognition in the essay contest’s anthology — a copy of the anthology and a check for $25.

Essays are selected on merit, creativity and social significance, a news release said. Jennifer competed against sophomore, junior and senior students in the United States and Canada.

The recognition validated Jennifer’s passion, she said.

“It’s not one of those contests you enter and never win,” she said. “It does happen. Now I’m seeing what can come of my writing. I’ve got to push those boundaries.”

Gina Clearcan be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.