Where your students’ writing gets rewarded
Congratulations to the winners of our You Write It Contest in the May 14, 2012, issue. We couldn’t have written these articles better ourselves!
(Click here to read the You Write It interview that inspired these articles.)
Check out the winning entries below.
“Getting His Community Onboard”
San Francisco, CA
Victor Davila is an 18-year-old boy with a big heart. He has done so much for his community. Victor has created a way to get kids to help the environment. “He’s a skater on a mission.” Victor started as association called Eco Ryders. It’s a program that helps kids help the environment. Two days a week during the summer, kids do community service. As a reward he teaches the kids how to make skateboards. “Skateboards run on fat and emit nothing but sweat,” says Victor. Skateboards are eco-friendly, extremely affordable, and help kids get exercise. With skateboards, kids are more excited to do something good for their community.
In New York, Victor has a lot to do. “It smells horrible!” says Victor. In Hunts Point where he lives there are two waste-treatment plants. When it rains, raw sewage overflows into the rivers. Eco Ryders is an awesome way kids around the country can get involved in helping their communities. People in coastal communities could do Eco Ryders with surfboards instead of skateboards. “It feels awesome to see people getting involved in these issues. And it feels awesome to see kids skate,” says Victor.
In the end Victor is a great and amazing young man with a mission. I believe, with him behind Eco Ryders, it will be a huge success. I think Victor will be famous in a few years for helping him environment. Victor is truly a skater with a mission.
Victor Davila is an 18-year-old who lives in Hunts Point, which is a low-income area in the Bronx, a borough in New York City. Victor says that his neighborhood faces many issues, and he has set out to get his community involved in solving these problems. Victor says, “We have a slew of environmental and social problems.” He remarks that “there are two waste-treatment plants; the Bronx processes a lot of New York City’s trash. It smells horrible.”
Another problem in the area, according to Victor, is that “when it rains, raw sewage overflows into the rivers.” Victor says that yet another issue in his neighborhood is “extremely high rates of obesity,” and notes that there are also high rates of asthma due to the 15,000 trucks passing through each day.
Although these many problems seem like a lot to try to fix, Victor is on a mission to change that. He is one of the co-founders of Eco Ryders, which he describes as “a free program to educate teenagers about the environment and get them involved in activism.” The group meets twice a week over the summer to go on trips, learn about local issues, and help with community projects. As a reward for the kids who participate, the organization teaches them how to design skateboards.
Victor says that he chose skateboards as the incentive for kids to join the group because “the friendship among skateboarders is just phenomenal.” He says that there’s nothing else like it, and that anything backed by the skateboarding subculture would definitely become much more powerful. Also, skateboards are good for the environment because they don’t depend on gas and fuel to function, and don’t emit greenhouse gases. They are affordable and an enjoyable mode of transportation. They help cut down on obesity because kids who are riding them get exercise while still having a good time and helping the environment.
When asked about why he thinks Eco Ryders has become such a successful program, Victor replied that, “We help kids fall in love with their community. That touches people—it makes them want to get involved in solving problems.”
Although Eco Ryders is only a local program right now, Victor would love to open it in other parts of the country. He thinks it would be really cool to have different incentives for participation based on where the group is located, like surfboards in coastal areas instead of skateboards. Victor says that he has learned many things from doing Eco Ryders, such as how to be more social and how to make a difference by helping others get involved in issues that he feels passionate about. Victor enjoys the feeling of satisfaction that he gets when he watches kids skate away after a session on their new skateboards, and loves seeing people involved in solving issues in his community. Victor and Eco Ryders are moving towards a clean, eco-friendly environment, and he urges kids around the country to do the same.
San Francisco, CA
In New York City, New York, there is a neighborhood called Hunts Point. A teenager named Victor Davila lives there and is the co-founder of Eco Ryders, a free program for teenagers. Victor teaches teenagers about the environment during the summertime. Victor also teaches them how to make skateboards. Skateboards do not need gas. Therefore they do not pollute the air. They also help kids exercise. Skateboards are also affordable. Victor said, “We help kids fall in love their community. That touches people—it makes them want to get involved in solving problems.” Victor wants Eco Ryders to spread around the country. Victor said, “If you’re in a coastal community, you could have Eco Ryders with surfboards.”
I want to be like Victor because I like helping my community. In my neighborhood, North Beach in San Francisco, a lot of people litter and we have a lot of electric buses. I want to make a team to help clean up the trash on the streets. I really want to help my neighborhood to be clean. I don’t like living in a dirty neighborhood. Living in a clean neighborhood makes you feel comfortable. I will name this clean up project, “Clean Up San Francisco” because we will clean up the whole city, not only my neighborhood. I might teach the group how to make surfboards because North Beach is so near the Pacific Ocean. That will make kids exercise more.