True patriotism: DAR chapter honors local students for citizenship efforts

HARLINGEN — Dozens of local middle school and high school students gathered at the Marine Military Academy Activities Center yesterday afternoon to celebrate patriotism and citizenship.

It was the annual Daughters of the American Revolution, Lt. Thomas Barlow Chapter, student award ceremony.

A total of four honors were given as about 40 students were recognized as good citizens and essay winners.

One of the functions of the DAR and this event is “To cherish, maintain and extend the institution of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.”

The most students were honored with the Good Citizen Award. This contest was created in 1934 and is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. This award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in the home, school and community.

The students are selected by their teachers and peers because they demonstrate these qualities to an outstanding degree. Only one senior high school student per year may be honored as a school’s DAR Good Citizen.

The recognized students are invited to participate in the scholarship essay contest where the student with the winning essay is awarded a scholarship.

The DAR also gave out citizenship medals to the middle school students. The award was created to foster among schoolchildren a greater appreciation of the qualities of citizenship Americans must possess if our country is to remain sovereign and independent.

A pair of history essay winners is also honored at the annual event. The purpose of that award is to promote American history throughout the year by honoring significant historical people, places, dates and events and allowing students and teachers to engage beyond the curriculum.

Youth Citizenship Award winners

Selma Alemon – Riverside Middle School, San Benito

Alleena Bella Briones – Vernon Middle School

Gabriella Chavez – Myra Green, Raymondville

Thomas Cruz- Rio Hondo Middle School, Rio Hondo

Armando de la Garza – Lasara Middle School, Lasara

Ava de la Pena – Memorial Middle School, Harlingen

Clarissa Estevanes – Santa Maria Middle School, Santa Maria

Alexis Fonseca – Coakley Middle School, Harlingen

Aliyah Fonseca – Coakley Middle School, Harlingen

Juan Angel Ramirez Guevara – San Perlita MIddle School, San Perlita

Peyton Lovell – Calvary Christian School, Harlingen

Lily Marroquin – Miller Jordan Middle School, San Benito

Valeria Johana Muniz – Berta Cabaza Middle School, San Benito

Barrett Anthony Rabel – Chacon Middle School, Mercedes

Elena Ramos – St. Anthony Catholic School, Harlingen

Mayra Rosas – Lyford Middle School, Lyford

Estrella Torres – Noemi Dominguez Middle School, La Feria

Jacob Vela – Moises Vela Middle School, Harlingen

Good Citizen Award winners

Betsy Abraham – South Texas High School for Health Professions

Brandi Nicole Cantu – Harlingen High School

Kaylee Janeli Cepeda – Santa Rosa High School

Joshua Delgado – Harlingen High School South

Victor Manuel Diaz Jr. – Santa Maria High School

Gabriella Celeste Gracia – Lyford High School

Diamond Monique Guevara – La Feria Academy

Samantha Guzman – La Sara High School

Kirsten Nicole Kinney – San Perlita High School

Richard Jensen Lee – Marine Military Academy

Felipe Rolando Moreno Jr. – Keys Academy

Albethsi Perales – Early College Academy, Mercedes

Adelina Isabel Quintana – Rio Hondo High School

Valerie Rangel – La Feria High School

Katelynn Marie Renteria – Early College High School, Harlingen

Sylvia Antoinette Sanchez – School of Health Professions, Harlingen

Joann Tello – Raymondville High School

Myra Lynn Wilson – Mercedes High School

Manuel Antonio Zapata – San Benito High School

2018 Essay Contest winner and $300 scholarship recipient

Betsy Abraham of South Texas High School for Health Professions, Mercedes

American History Essay Contest winners

7th grade – Meaghan Blackburn, Calvary Christian School

8th grade – Kaylen Delaney Perez, Calvary Christian School