Greenbrier High School Senior Jennifer Nulsen is the winner of the Cadron Post Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Good Citizens Essay Contest.
She received a $100 check for her essay, written on the topic, "Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It."
A daughter of Eric and Jill Nulsen of Greenbrier, Nulsen is president of the Philomathean Literary Honors Society and vice president of the Mathletes Mathematics Honors Society in school. She is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and she won the National Advanced Placement Scholar Award, the AP Chemistry Award, the AP English Language and Composition Award and the Pre-AP Calculus Award. She is also a recipient of the Youth Rock Orchestra Merit Scholarship and the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival Merit Scholarship.
In addition to mathematics, literature and music, Nulsen has also participated in 4-H activities.
After high school graduation, she hopes to attend college and receive dual degrees in piano performance and audio engineering.
Her winning essay follows:
"As citizens of the nation that stands as a beacon of democracy to the world, we are held loosed in a paradoxical situation unlike any other. We are given multiple rights to act within, but with these freedoms comes a responsibility to act for the good of our fellow man, and not selfishly or foolishly, lest our rights be lost. Therefore I believe that, due to the unique blessings of our nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, our duties to keep abreast of current issues, and then to wisely care for our own mental prowess, our foundational governmental precepts, and our younger generation, are fantastically larger than our freedoms and must therefore be more carefully observed.
"Awareness and alertness are the primary components of an active citizen, as without knowledge of current events and their bearing upon or nation’s future in relation to our history, activism is futile. Thus with a citizen’s freedoms to speak out, and to propose new bills to his or her political representatives, comes the duty to maintain a vibrant mental resource of important issues. In this manner the most efficient actions can be taken for the appropriate causes. One unifying characteristic of our Founding Fathers was a constant seeking for the truth of an issue and, subsequently, a seeking for diverse opinions upon the issue. Popular opinion in relation to the facts allows the conscientious citizen to discern a personal opinion on the matter in a way that withstands criticism. Awareness is therefore the key responsibility of an involved citizen, as it enlightens him or her to the wisest decisions.
"Closely following alertness is the need for mental acumen in every citizen. Without the ability to weigh options methodically, no wellspring of innovation or logical selection of course can be guaranteed. This is another common trait of the most effective leaders; in spite of their inherent intelligence, they continuously strive to expand their knowledge in an effort to serve more effectively. Average citizens should also see higher mental acuity in multiple areas for the greatest success. Intelligence is not only for the collegiate scholars; it is applicable to every segment of life. The invention of the light bulb, the discovery of electricity and the creation of the personal computer have revolutionized the world, and none of these advancements would have been possible in our nation if not for the freedom to pursue higher education. Care of our minds thus strengthens our country and fulfills our rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’
"Finally, we must retain a knowledge of and affection for our past while cultivating our future. Americans have been given the rights to structure their lives in any manner, so long as it does not harm others. I believe that we must seize this liberty and create the most opportunity-filled lifestyle possible for the younger generation, that they may outstrip our current population in achievement. If their minds are shaped into a form able to retain all useful information, and equally able to reject all falsities, our youth will initiate a new reign of liberty through their discernment and innovation. Creativity and logic must be implemented together to foster the young American’s mind and heart; and due to our freedoms of travel, religion, and class, more opportunities than ever are available to youth. However, we must still watch vigilantly over our original liberties to preserve these rights for the younger generation. Citizens should be intimately familiar with their history in order to keep the principles within that history secure.
"This is the ultimate goal of knowledge of the past, present, and care for the future, along with the propagation of intelligence: to ensure a radiant future for the next generation of Americans, that liberty may be preserved and carried on."