John Still student wins second place in national essay writing contest

e-Connections Post John Still

Mykel Jones, an 8th grader at John Still K-8 School, won second place for middle school in a national competition among participants in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program by the Intercultural Development Research Association.

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped the students they mentor to perform better in school as well.

There were national competitions at both the middle school and high school levels. Winners from each competition (high school and middle school) are being awarded $200 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place.

Jones wrote in his essay: “‘When I began middle school, I didn’t worry about much. It was okay to have one F and average grades. Most of the time, I wouldn’t participate in school…Without this job, I would have not gotten the inspiration to do great things. Now I am passing all my classes with A’s and B’s. I help my mom with anything she needs help with, and I am a more patient and understanding person. Also, I’m showing up to work right on time. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to be in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program.”

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is aimed at helping students stay in school, increase academic performance, improve school attendance and advance to higher education.

Created by IDRA, the program is an internationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. Since its inception in 1984, the program has kept more than 33,600 students in school, according to a press release.