Each year during Military Family Month, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and GEICO Military host the Art & Essay Contest, open to children of active duty or retired members of the United States Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard/Reserves. The contest allows children to express their military lifestyle and serves to remind us of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform, and their families, make each day for our country.
“The ASYMCA Art & Essay Contest shines a spotlight on the children of our military family,” said William French, President and CEO of the ASYMCA. “Military children face very unique challenges and the contest is an opportunity for them to voice their stories while helping others understand their experience and recognize their resiliency.”
The art contest is specifically for children grades one through six. This year’s themes were, “My Day at the ASYMCA” and “My Military Family.” A winner is selected from each branch of the military and will receive an iPod touch.
2018 Art Contest Winners:
Anthony Herbst, Marine Corps
Jason Kinsey, Army
Rowan Mendoza, Air Force
The mother of one of this year’s winners, Annie Herbst shared how much her son looks forward to the contest each year. “We’re very excited to know that Anthony won! He’s been participating [in the Art & Essay Contest] for the last 5 years and still gets excited every time they announce the contest. He’s always happy to participate because he likes art so much,” she said.
The essay contest is open to children in grades one through twelve. This year’s prompts for the essays were, “How the ASYMCA has helped me,” or “My greatest challenges as a military child has been…” Winners in grades one through eight will receive an iPod, and winners in grades 10-12 will receive an iPad.
2018 Essay Contest Winners:
Grades 1st-2nd: Suzanne "Zuzu" Cullen, Air Force
Grades 3rd-4th: Malik Jeramiah Adams, Fort Bragg
Grades 5th-6th: Jenna Kinsey, Fort Bragg
Grades 7th-8th: Katelyn Edmunds, Maxwell AFB Middle School
Grades 9th-10th: Rachel Ivany, Bishop O'Connell High School
Grades 11th-12th: Kelly Virginia MacGarrigle, The Field School
All the winners from both contests receive their prizes courtesy of GEICO Military.
You can download the 2018 Art & Essay Contest booklet to see all of the creative artworks and essays submitted to be judged by clicking here.
Military Family Month, established by the ASYMCA in 1996, is celebrated each November to recognize the contributions of service members, spouses, and children that make up our military family. The Art and Essay Contest launches each November to support and bring awareness to these brave families. Click here to learn more about the contest.