Photo courtesy Elke King

"What is your American Dream?" Elks Grand Lodge Americanism Essay contest 2022-2023

The 2022-2023 Elks Grand Lodge Americanism Essay contest theme this year was "What is your American Dream?"  This contest is held each year for grades 5-8 to explore the value of being an American.  
Our local lodge, Deadwood #508 selected the following essays, with the winners to be honored at their annual Spring Banquet listed below.
5th Grade
3rd Place - Jason Fees (Faith)
7th Grade
3rd Place - Presli Taylor (Faith)
Jason and Presli both did a wonderful job of writng about each of their American dreams as you will read for yourself below.
My American Dream
By Jason Fees
My American dream is to be an engineer. I want to make the world a better place for all people big and small. Most things we are inventing are polluting the world. I want to create things people might not think of and it can make the world a better place to live. 
I want to create a fuel source that does not pollute the world. I believe there's a way to power vehicles and all buildings without mining and polluting. I want to create a power source that does not cause a problem to the enviroment. Keeping our plants and animals safe is important to me. 
I want to also create a better way to recycle and keep the world clean. Parts of our world are filthy with all the trash and garbage, but we can all keep it clean. By recycling better, we can use our trash in a better way. 
Stop saying “You can't ever do that!” or “You can never become that!” or “You can't do that because...” but we all can do anything if you just set your mind to it and try. Being an American, we have the opportunity to do things that have never been done before. That is why my American dream is to be an engineer. 
The American Dream
By Presli Taylor
I know this likely won't make sense to you, like, “What does this have to do with the American Dream?” you might ask, but trust me, this has everything to do with it. Whenever you look at a plant such as a flower, what do you think of? 
Some people think “Oh a flower, ok let's get on with our day,” others will admire flowers a bit more and think “Whoa a flower. It's so pretty...” And the last group will wonder all about the flower and be super into it. 
Now about the American Dream; I know there is literally a commercial about “Do you ever wonder why is it called the American Dream, and not the American Goal?” Well, one day when I was watching TV I saw that commercial and actually listened to everything being said, and thought about it. I actually took the time to listen and think about and wonder about everything being said. Now, I will quote and such from that commercial and I will say things like what was said from that commercial, but still, I want you to think about what I'm saying, please. 
In a dream, you can imagine, and envision anything and everything, with still being accurate. As a goal, it has to be limited way more to be accurate for you. In a dream, no one has to have the same one as you. If it were the American Goal, you would have to get others to have the same one as you to accomplish more. 
Everyone treats the American Dream as the American Goal. Why? Why do we do that? We try to shove everyone else into one small container as if we're all slime. 
Like a plant, we all need room to grow. Like a plant, the American Dream took time to be as it is. Like a flower, the American Dream can’t be shoved in a container and expected to grow as it should. The American Dream is for everyone, well, in America. The American Dream, like a flower, started small and then grew into the beautiful blossom it is today. And that is what I think the American Dream is. 


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