Andria Montgomery, from Patrick Henry High School, won the 3rd Annual A Bridge for Kids Essay Contest and the $2,000 first prize. Andria’s essay beat out over 250 entries from students throughout San Diego County and was judged the winner by a panel of 10 local judges. In this year’s event, the top 3 essays were separated by a mere 2 points making it the closest finish in the short history of the contest.
Andria, who will graduate from high school this spring, made an emotional connection with many of the judges as she described growing up as a homeless teen after her parents “made the decision to pick substances and illegal activities over their kids.” She went on to say “I don’t think it is possible to understand what it is like to not have a home…I can’t stress enough how devastating it is to wake up and find yourself in yet another temporary home. It is a scary thing to experience waking up and not knowing where you are. It is even harder to force yourself to get up when you know you won’t be coming back.” Fortunately she never gave up and the story had a happy ending when she was reunited with her brother and they were able to save enough money to afford their own apartment. Although she didn’t mention it in her essay Andria is also quite proud of almost achieving a 4.0 GPA in the most recent semester at Patrick Henry. Read Andy’s 2015 1st Place Essay
Alejandro Michel, a recent graduate of Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, submitted the second place essay and won $1,000 for his submission. Alejandro’s Essay was one of generosity and motivation and also touched an emotional cord with the judges. It received 4 first place votes and lost to the winning essay by just one point. Alejandro is currently sponsored by local La Jolla family and has used his A Bridge for Kids sponsorship to pay for a wide variety of items including SAT/AP fees, school supplies, tickets to Senior Night, a tux for prom, a bus pass so he could get to school, a mouthpiece for his tuba and much more! He expects to use most of the proceeds from the essay contest to buy books for college.
Karin Angel and Jasmin Hernandez, both from The Pruess School, UCSD and Sylvia Davis from Escondido Charter School rounded out the top 5. Jasmin finished in 7th place last year and Sylvia was the first runner up in our 2014 competition, making both girls our first repeat winners. Each of the three will win $500 prizes for their respective finishes. It should also be noted that Karin came within just two points of first place which would have made it three consecutive wins for Preuss School students. Laura Castro (UCSD, class of 2017) and Virginia Reyes (University of California, Berkeley, Class of 2018) won the first two contests and are recent graduates from The Preuss School.
Rounding out the top ten were 5 students from Sweetwater High School. Miguel Estrada, Genesis Riveron, Emily Rovira, Celyn Guaro Miranda and Maria Manuel all beat out over 250 other contestants to earn a $100 Amazon Gift Card. See below for the ranking and prize information.
|Finish||Teen Name||Prize||High School|
|1||Andria||Montgomery||$2,000||Patrick Henry High School|
|2||Alejandro||Michel||$1,000||Castle Park High School (Class of 2014)|
|3||Karin||Angel||$500||The Preuss School|
|4||Jasmin||Hernandez||$500||The Preuss School|
|6||Miguel||Estrada||$100 Amazon Gift Card||Sweetwater High School|
|7||Genesis||Riveron||$100 Amazon Gift Card||Sweetwater High School|
|8||Emily||Rovira||$100 Amazon Gift Card||Sweetwater High School|
|9||Celyn||Guaro Miranda||$100 Amazon Gift Card||Sweetwater High School|
|10||Maria||Manuel||$100 Amazon Gift Card||Sweetwater High School|
2013- Laura Castro- The Preuss School, UCSD
2014- Virginia Reyes– The Preuss School, UCSD