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6th Grader Wins Women's History Month Essay Contest

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2002 – Valerie Moore is tenacious. Once she sets her sights on a goal, she says she'll keep trying until she succeeds.

That tenacity and stick-to-itiveness helped her win first place in this year's Pentagon-sponsored Women's History Month essay contest at John Tyler Elementary School in Washington. She'd won second and third places in other DoD- sponsored contests this year.

"So I decided if I tried it again, I'd win first place," the 11-year-old said. And she did. "I finally got first place -- it feels great!" She read her essay during the March 14 DoD Women's History Month observance at the Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery Women's Memorial. She received a Department of Defense certificate and a $100 Savings Bond.

Moore used this year's national theme, "Women Sustaining the American Spirit," as her essay title:

"Since the beginning of history the American woman has always shown strength, courage, and dignity in her efforts to help make America what it is today.

"Women have come from not being able to vote to becoming mayors, governors, senators and Supreme Court justices. Thanks to women like Susan B. Anthony and Dorothy Height who is almost 90 years old and still heading up the National Council of Negro Women.

"American women are holding jobs at one time only held by men, such as chief of police, military commanders, Army generals, engineers, presidents of major universities, and businesses, and heads of hospitals.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton became a senator after being first lady in the White House. Rosa Parks started a movement by not giving up her seat on a bus. Women like Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Maya Lin, Oprah Winfrey and LaDonna Harris have worked to make sure that all women have an equal opportunity to an education so that they can succeed in life.

"It has not been easy for women to gain their rights, but they are keeping the spirit alive by doing their jobs with courage and vision. As a young woman to be, I plan to keep the American spirit alive by an example of hard work and good citizenship."

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageValerie Moore, 11, beams as David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, presents her a DoD certificate and a $100 Savings Bond as winner of the DoD Women's History Month essay contest held at John Tyler Elementary School in Washington. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSixth-grader Valerie Moore, 11, poses with retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, president of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. The youngster won the DoD Women's History Month essay contest held at her school, John Tyler Elementary in Washington. Behind the two is the Sept. 11 Photo Project on display at the Women's Memorial through April 7. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
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