PSJ student wins statewide Black History Month essay contest

Brooklyn Sheppard

Brooklyn Sheppard, a fifth-grader at Port St. Joe Elementary, was a statewide winner in the 2014 Black History Month essay contest and was congratulated during a reception by Governor Rick Scott.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 09:53 AM.

According to Brooklyn Sheppard, a fifth-grader at Port St. Joe Elementary School, the secret to making the world a better place is simple: end racism.

That’s the poignant thought that steered Sheppard’s winning entry in the 2014 Black History Month essay contest. Sheppard was the winner of the fourth- and fifth-grade division in the statewide contest.

For her win, Sheppard was awarded a trip to the Governor’s mansion Tallahassee where she, her mother Heather, her father and grandmother had hors d'oeuvres with Gov. Rick Scott and the First Lady at a reception to celebrate the contributions African-American community leaders, educators and students make to Florida’s communities, culture, and history.

She also earned a four-year scholarship to a Florida college or university.

“We took photos with the governor and his wife and he congratulated me,” said Sheppard. “It was pretty exciting.”

Sheppard was originally told about the contest by teacher Anne Johnson. She had several days to write the essay before Gov. Rick Scott announced the winners on Feb. 25.

“When I heard that I won, I jumped up and down and screamed,” said Sheppard.

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