Angelo Karadimas of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, Illinois, was the recipient of the $1,000.00 first prize in the 2021 Essay Contest of the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.
Essays submitted by 29 teens focused on the relevance of the poem, “The New Colossus,” made famous as the inscription at the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor concerning the importance of freedom and liberty for all.
As Karadmimas’ essay noted, “Recent adversity has not dimmed the light of Lazarus’ poem or the American Dream, but has instead emboldened them. However, a flame cannot exist without continued support, as it will be faced with strong winds and waters that will instantly extinguish it. For that reason, we must work hard to preserve the light provided by Lady Liberty in Emma Lazarus’ poem, saving it from challenges determined to erase it”.
Committee chair Renee Gahagan was thrilled that young people from all over the country participated, recognizing the importance for teachers to promote this exercise within the classroom. “Look how many schools participated this year. We have to thank the students and the parents and the teachers for encouraging the essay program.”
A Certificate of Participation signed by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Hierarchal Proistamenos of St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine will be sent to all 29 participants.