Essay Winner Highlight: Maddie Garcia
Even if you don’t win this contest, you’re gaining valuable experience not only in writing a paper which is crucial to succeeding in college, but it also helps you to reinforce your own pro-life beliefs. Especially going into high school you’ll be facing a lot of tough conversations about pro-life issues. It helps knowing how to do research, and it helps shapes your own pro-life mindset and why you believe what you believe.
Maddie Garcia won Right to Life's Youth Essay Contest in 2012 and 2014. She sat down with our Program Manager to talk about her pro-life values and her essay contest experience.
Tell me about little about yourself
I’m currently an elementary education student at IU South Bend. I’ll be graduating in December. I can’t wait to get in the classroom and fulfill my lifelong dream of teaching. I'm currently a substitute teacher.
I’ve lived in South Bend my entire life, and I’m the second of ten children. This might have influenced my career choice :)
When I’m not focused on school or work, I enjoy baking, anything to do with music, reading, and beauty DIY.
Why did you decide to enter the Youth Essay Contest?
I enjoy writing about subjects I’m passionate about and I’m very passionate about the pro-life movement. When I first entered the contest, I didn’t think I had any chance of winning, but I thought it would be a good experience in professional writing.
What was your essays about?
My first essay was about what teenagers can do to end abortion. I appreciated this topic because it was very personal to me, and I knew I could right relevantly on it because a lot of the things I discussed in my paper I had personally taken part in. I talked about attending the March for Life, having conversations with friends about pro-life issues, and prayer. Prayer is the most important thing people can participate in.
The topic for my second essay was: explore one way abortion has negatively affected America. From my perspective, it’s we don’t value life anymore. I drew on examples of two real life cases about pregnant women who were in accidents and were in comas. In one case, the husband chose to take the woman off life support and the subsequently end the life of the baby. In the other case the husband, even though it was extremely painful to watch his wife, chose to keep her on life support to save the life of the baby.
What advice do you have for a student considering participating?
Find an angle on the prompt that you’re passionate about. I’ve had negative experiences writing about topics I don’t connect personally with. If you’re enthusiastic about the topic, writing and researching the paper won’t seem like a chore.
I also find it helpful to draw examples from real life stories. It not only helps to reinforce your thesis, but it also gives you inspiration for being more invested in the topic.
Why should students participate?
Even if you don’t win this contest, you’re gaining valuable experience not only in writing a paper which is crucial to succeeding in college, but it also helps you to reinforce your own pro-life beliefs. Especially going into high school you’ll be facing a lot of tough conversations about pro-life issues. It helps knowing how to do research, and it helps shape your own pro-life mindset and why you believe what you believe.
How are you still engaged in the pro-life movement today?
I was invited to serve on Right to Life's Life Team which allows me to give presentations on pro-life topics to middle school students. I’m extremely passionate about this ministry because it combines my love of teaching with my pro-life values.
I make it a priority to attend Right to Life events like the Boot Camp, March for Life, Benefit Dinner etc.
I’m also always willing to give a spare hour to Right to Life’s projects or helping at events.