Council promotes good character through writing

This past June, the Four Corners Character Council recognized two high school students for their participation in the annual Teammates essay contest.

The contest was promoted by the FCCC and the School Collaboration Youth Coalition (SCYC). The SCYC’s Teammates program is a group of community members who collaborate together to help reinforce good behavior and good character through building relationships with teens.

This year, the contest theme was a combination of characteristics including honesty, courage and determination. Each applicant had to write an essay on a person of their choosing who directly influenced them by their determination and other honorable characteristics.

The first-place winner was Brittany Peacock, an eighth-grader at Mancos Middle School, the second-place winner was Kyerstin McNutt, who is now a freshman at Dolores High School. The contest was open to students from area schools in Cortez, Dolores, Dove Creek and Mancos. Any student who wanted to participate could.

“This (the FCCC) is a pretty important program,” McNutt said. “It teaches you what it’s like to be in certain situations and how to handle it or prevent it.”

Peacock chose to write about her brother, a varsity basketball player. He broke his arm during a game and had to wait months before it would heal. She wrote about being impressed and inspired by his determination to get back into the game.

McNutt wrote about her older sister whose moral and ethical choices in life have led her to happiness and success. She told about her sister’s kindness, patience and perseverance, and noted that she was a great role model to her and her friends.

“She had all those traits, determination, responsibility, courage and honesty,” McNutt said.

Peacock received a Kindle Fire and McNutt received a $50 gift card.

During the school year, the FCCC promotes a new essay contest monthly. That first place winner receives $50 and the other essay contestants receive a thank you letter from the FCCC.

“Most of the time we have them submit essays, but occasionally we will do art projects or drawings,” said Juan Soto, FCCC member.

The FCCC continues to promote good character through relationship building among youth. They are in the process of planning the essay contest for next year’s Teammates competition and are discussing their involvement with other community projects.

The character council meets the first Thursday of every month. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend. For more information on the essay contests, contact Soto at 570-9488.

rachels@cortezjournal.com