Student Essay Contest Winners 2018

Reyna Rodriguez, Annie Wilken, and Robert Miles. Photo: Janis Olson Reyna Rodriguez, Annie Wilken, and Robert Miles. Photo: Janis Olson
How can you share Jesus with others?

Answers from our student essay contest winners

Northwest Catholic’s fifth annual student essay contest asked students at Western Washington’s 74 Catholic schools to answer the question “How can you share Jesus with others?”

The essays were judged by a panel drawn from the staffs of Northwest Catholic, the archdiocesan Office for Catholic Schools and the Fulcrum Foundation. We are proud to present the winning high school, middle school and elementary school essays.


Striving to be more like Jesus

By Reyna Rodriguez

Jesus is more than just a being, he is an idea. He is the idea that every man should treat his brother or sister with love and respect. While at times we may look to Jesus’ actions for guidance, other times we should look to Jesus’ heart. The heart of Jesus lives inside each and every one of God’s children, vibrant and pure. I feel Jesus inside my heart each and every day when I conduct the habitual tasks of a high school senior. Whenever I allow a stranger to precede me in line, or when I give someone a dollar so they can buy a cookie at lunch, I feel Jesus.

Sharing Jesus with others starts with being Jesus yourself, by being someone who understands respect, patience, love and flaw. I personally do not understand fully these things, yet I feel that through doing my best and trying my hardest to show respect and love for others, Jesus’ light shines through me. I find myself from time to time falling into sin, and I force myself to apologize to those whom I have affected, repenting for my ways. I show Jesus through my repentance, influencing my peers to show Jesus through their own hearts.

I regularly attend youth group at St. James Cathedral, and through the events and gatherings I participate in, I find Jesus through others. Never have I met such kind, accepting and loving people in my life. The people in the group never say anything negative or make snide remarks about one another. Everything in the group is pure love between many strangers, a beautiful bond. These people truly show me Jesus, more and more every week, and I feel myself grow closer with him, through them.

Every day since I’ve begun this experience, I have strived to be more like Jesus. My goal is to be kind, loving and respectful, just like Jesus. Through my love and respect for him, I hope to reach a point where I influence others to be positive and wholesome beings, all through my love for Jesus Christ.

Reyna Rodriguez is a senior at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle.



If Jesus were alive today

By Robert Miles

If Jesus were alive today he would be comforting the sick, not playing video games. He would be sleeping outside with the homeless, not watching a movie at home. He would be helping people who are recovering from addiction, not going to fancy restaurants. He would be volunteering to help all the charities, not texting on his new iPhone. If Jesus were living today he would help everyone he could, and I will try too.

I can share Jesus in my everyday life by just giving some money to someone living on the street. Instead of buying a new computer I could use that money to give to a charity for the less fortunate or buy some new blankets for people who have no homes. I could visit the imprisoned and share the stories of how Jesus still can forgive us even if we have done something wrong. I can give my extra toys I don’t use to Goodwill or Value Village, so others can enjoy what I don’t need. I could do many things to share Jesus with others, and I will try to do as many as I possibly can.

I shared Jesus with others recently by helping serve food to the homeless at the Josephinum in Seattle. My class and I helped set up chairs and tables for the homeless to eat, and talked with them while they ate. Some of us got to talk with recovering addicts. Some of us talked and played bingo with the elderly in the Heritage House. Then the last of our class made the food to be served to the low- or no-income and homeless people at the Josephinum. I think we really shared Jesus with them that day. This is how I could, can, and will share Jesus with others today.

Robert Miles is a seventh-grader at St. John School in Seattle.



Just a little act of kindness

By Annie Wilken

While I was getting out of the car at school, my mom placed her thumb on my forehead and traced the sign of the cross, saying, “Let Jesus shine through you today.” I thought, How can I share Jesus with others today? As I walked through the halls at school, I smiled a big smile to my classmates and they smiled back. I remembered when my family was serving at a homeless shelter, all the people seemed thankful for the food and even more for our friendliness and smiles. I realized how a simple smile can share Jesus.

On my birthday, my mom was taking me out to eat. I saw a homeless man on the sidewalk. I asked if we could drive over and give him a bag of snacks that was in the car. When I handed it to him, I looked into his face — his eyes were tired and sad, and his raspy voice said, “God bless you!” I felt happy, like Jesus was standing right next to me. I realized just a little act of kindness really was sharing Jesus with others, and he shared Jesus right back!

In life, just being myself, being kind, is sharing Jesus with others. When people I love are sad, not their normal selves, they need me to share Jesus. When altar serving, reading the Bible with my little brothers, or gathering clothes for the poor, I feel like Jesus is smiling in heaven. That is what God has sent us to do here on earth!

Annie Wilken is a fifth-grader at St. Louise School in Bellevue.


Northwest Catholic - January/February 2018