CJ freshman wins first place in family essay contest

When Allison Huffman, a Chaminade Julienne freshman, was offered a chance to earn extra credit in her honors English class, she decided to take on the challenge.

The assignment, an essay for the Dayton Family Service’s 12th annual Family Matters Essay and Art contest, had to be written on the topic “My favorite family memory.”

Allison’s twin brother, William, who’s in the same class, chose not to enter, but he was included in Allison’s essay.

“There are seven members of our family, and it’s hard for us to do stuff together,” said Allison, who lives in Tipp City. “But, two years ago we all went on a week-long trip during spring break, and we’d never gone on a trip together like that.

“The Grand Canyon was a stop on our trip. It looked like a picture, and we had a really good time hiking down into the canyon and back up. That hike was the topic of my essay, ‘The Grand Canyon.’”

She completed her essay and handed it in by the September deadline. Last month, when Jim Brooks, her honors English teacher, forwarded her the email saying she had won first place in the grade 9-12 division, she was surprised.

“I wasn’t expecting to win, but English is one of my favorite subjects and I like writing,” she said.

Brooks, who’s taught English and writing at the school for more than 30 years, wasn’t surprised.

“Allison is an excellent writer who is anxious to take on any kind of composition task,” he said. “She has a large, close-knit family, so she had experiences to draw from. She is a stylist who knows how to get the most out of any topic. The challenge with this prompt was to tell a vivid family story in 250 words or less, and she certainly achieved that.”

Allison, the daughter of Tipp City residents Steve and Kathryn Huffman and sister to siblings ranging in age from 11-to-17, was recognized at the Dayton Family Services Association’s annual Awards Breakfast on November 17.