A local middle school student was named a winner in the national essay contest for the National League of Junior Cotillions (NLJC).

First-year student in the Faulkner County chapter of NLJC Sarah Tinsley received an honorable mention in the annual “What Junior Cotillion Means to Me” essay contest that had more than 1,500 entries nationwide.

Sarah is the daughter of Jeff and Carrie Tinsley.

“We are very proud to have such an outstanding young lady as one of our students,” said Susan and Patrick Humphries, directors of the local chapter. “Sarah is a poised, intelligent, and diligent participant in our program. She is taking the skills taught in these classes and making them a part of her everyday life.”

In her essay, Sarah said she enjoyed her Cotillion experience.

“I have learned that manners are incredibly important. Everyone I encounter deserves my best manners. I have learned to consider the impact that my words and actions have on others,” her essay reads in part. “Junior Cotillion has changed me for the better in just a few hours of classes.”

Susan Humphries said children of the program learn skills that “promote respect, self-confidence and strong self-esteem, enabling them to deal with the issues facing adolescents today.”

“This encourages the social behavior and character necessary to gain the edge in future experiences, such as college entrance, business experiences, and other life opportunities,” Susan said. “Sarah Tinsley has taken the skills taught in this program and used them to enhance her character, to achieve personal goals, and to set high standards for personal behavior. She exemplifies the NLJC mission statement – learning to act and to treat others with honor, dignity, and respect.”

The NLJC is an etiquette and social dance training program that involves thousands of students nationwide. The local program is offered to any interested sixth- to eighth-grade boy or girl in the county.

For more information, contact Susan Humphries at susan.humphries@nljc.com, or visit the website at www.nljc.com/chapter/faulknercounty.