Rocky Point High School senior TJ Strazzeri was named the second-place winner in this year’s New York State Voices of Democracy essay contest.
He was honored at a Suffolk County
awards dinner, where he was praised by local and regional members of the VFW.
This year’s contest was themed “Why Veterans are Important to our Nation’s
History and Future,” and was open to students in grades 9-12 throughout the U.S.
and its territories.
TJ’s essay “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future,” highlighted the important role that veterans play in society. He writes, “I was taught by my family, especially my grandfathers who are veterans, that the greatest gift bestowed upon us as citizens of the United States of America is our freedom. I had a passionate interest in the founding fathers at a young age and spent time studying the sacrifices and triumphs that led to America’s independence.”
TJ’s essay entered the state level of judging after first receiving endorsement at the local VFW Post level. All essays were judged on originality, content and delivery, as the writer was also required to summit a digital recording of their piece.
Photo Caption: Rocky Point High School senior TJ Strazzeri was named the second-place winner in this year’s New York State Voices of Democracy essay contest. He is pictured with (from left) social studies teacher Richard Acritelli, members of the Rocky Point VFW Post 6249, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Ring and Principal John DeBenedetto.
Photo provided by the Rocky Point School District