FALL RIVER: Three students from Georges P. Vanier Junior High have nabbed the top four spots in the 2017 Turning Points essay contest.

Olivia Chute; Heidi Wadden; and Quentin Dawson-Nugent each placed first, second, and fourth respectively and now will have their stories published. The three were ecstatic to learn of their accomplishments. They also received monetary rewards.

Wadden’s essay was about her grandmother who had cancer and was dying. The essay, titled ‘A song, a breath, and a goodbye,’ won second place.

“The three body paragraphs talked about those three things,” said Wadden. “The body spoke about the song that we sang called Jesus Loves Me; it was my nanny’s favourite song. We sang it to her in the hospital on one of her last days.

“It was really nice because we all got to connect and it was healing for us.

“The second paragraph was about a breath and how nanny wasn’t really talking because she was so ill. It was about how hard to not see her talking because she was such a joyful person. It was about those last breaths she took and how much I reflected on how great she was to me and what she did for me.

“The third paragraph was about the goodbye, the last time I saw her. I told her I loved her. It was hard to say goodbye for the last time with my mom.”

She said the last paragraph of her essay shows reflection.

“I just wrote about how true love doesn’t have to be between two partners, it can be between a nanny and her grand-daughter,” said Wadden.”

Dawson-Nugent’s story called “My Forever Home” was about meeting his parents—Chris Dawson and Ron Nugent—for the first time. It spoke about going to visit them at their house and the bonding time involved. He was fourth in the contest.

“It also talked about how much they love me and about all the stuff we did together during that time,” he said. “It ended by basically saying how much I thought I would remain there and how much I believed it.”

Chute’s first place winning story spoke about her love for water skiing and her participation at the Pan American waterskiing championships last summer.

“My story was on how I overcame a fear and realized a lot about myself, and how much fun I had in the end,” said Chute. “It was important as I learned a lot of life lessons.”

Teacher Dione Woodrow said it shows a lot of talent for three of the top four to be from GPV.

“I’m extremely proud of all the students who entered,” she said. “They’re at an age where they aren’t too keen to be putting themselves all out there. This particular writing assignment had to do with personal events in their lives. So these students took risks at their work not only being read, but being published.

“I think it’s great they were proud enough of their stories to go in a book and be read by others.”