My America – Student Essay Contest

Yellow Ribbon Support Center and Around Anderson Township present Essay Contest for Area Students on Patriotism and America

CINCINNATI, OH. (October 1, 2017) — As part of the Veterans Day preparations for celebrating our men and women who have served in the armed services, Yellow Ribbon Support Center founder and father of SSG Matt Maupin, Keith Maupin, has joined forces with the founder of Around Anderson Township, award-winning community advocate, Gregory Harshfield, to create an essay contest for local students. Keith and Greg felt that it was the right time to create something that would shift the social focus to that of our youth, what patriotism means to them, and how they view our country.

“The focus of each entry should be on the writer’s perspective of what patriotism means, and what they love about our country. It can be on any level, from national to their own backyard. We felt this would be a unique and fun way to get school age youth to express themselves.” – Greg Harshfield

The contest is open to tri-state area students in all Cincinnati area districts, from k-12, and will begin on October 1st. The deadline for entry is October 31st. Entries will be divided into three groups, by grade level, from which a 1st prize winner will be selected. These groups by grade will be K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Second and third prizes will also be awarded, along with an award for the best drawing, should we receive any drawings.

Submissions must be anywhere from 300 to 1500 words, and include any photos, or drawings, in digital format. Entries and images should be emailed to, by a parent or guardian indicating their approval for publication. All entries must include the student’s name, school name, grade level, the essay in a common digital document format, and any images in standard .JPG format. Entries will be divided into the aforementioned grade groups, with awards for the top three in each category. All entries will be published on once the winners have been chosen.

Initial review by Keith and Greg will select those appropriate to move on, and the winners will be selected by Micah Maupin, brother of Matt Maupin. Micah, a Marine veteran and local real estate agent, lives in the Cincinnati area with his wife, Talyta. All written works will be validated for originality.

Prizes are as follows, for each grade group:

  • 1st prize – $500
  • 2nd prize – $100
  • 3rd prize – $50
  • Best Drawing/Original Photograph (comprehensive of all groups) – $100

Yellow Ribbon Support Center sends care packages to any military individuals serving in harm’s way, to offer a little bit of home comfort and to let them know we appreciate what they are doing for us all. The packages contain items such as snacks, health & beauty aids, books & magazines and other entertainment. They also include, when available, what might be the most important of all in every box, letters & notes from those here at home.

This link provides more information about the Yellow Ribbon Support Center, and the mission that began over a decade ago:

Gregory Harshfield created Around Anderson Township in 2011 as a community focused web site, and social media outlet, that would unite the local government, schools, parks, and business entities in a way that would provide residents and local businesses a collaborative space in which to share information and celebrate an incredible community. In 2014, Harshfield received the Greater Cincinnati Area ASPA (American Society of Professional Administrators) award for Outstanding Community Volunteer for his work on Around Anderson Township.  Since 2011, this community organization has grown to over 14K total followers, with thousands turning to the website and social media pages for information and local events.

Keith and Greg encourage parents to get their school age children involved to celebrate the great things about our country, our states, and our community. Let’s have some fun and help some young people reach their dreams.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

  • Yellow Ribbon Support Center and area patriots
  • Dan Varner\Dan Varner Band
  • Andrew Pappas\Cleaner Concepts
  • Ohio Valley Productions
  • Forest Heis
  • Gregory Harshfield