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Student Essay Contest Celebrates Simi Valley Hospital’s 40-Year Commitment to Health and Well-being

As part of Simi Valley Hospital’s 40th anniversary celebration, public and private school students in Simi Valley and Moorpark were invited in March 2005 to participate in a health-themed essay contest.

Students in grades 3 to 5 were asked to write an essay of 100 words or more and/or submit a drawing that answered the question “If Simi Valley Hospital had a mascot, what would it be?”

For students in grades 6 to 8, the topic of their essay of a minimum of 500 words was “How does a career in healthcare enrich humanity?” Students in grades 9 to 12 answered the question “What are the key principles of wellness, and how does following them create a healthy community?” in an essay of 1,000 words or more.

Representatives of Simi Valley Hospital’s Executive Team, Governing Board and Marketing Department reviewed the 150 essays submitted. Judging criteria included originality of ideas, organization, clarity of writing and adherence to the theme. Cash awards included $100 for the winner from the grades 3 to 5 group, $200 for the grades 6 to 8 winner and $300 for the grades 9 to 12 winner.

“It was a very difficult decision in coming to a winner for each of the three categories,” said Leigh Nixon, Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and a member of SVH’s Governing Board, who was one of four contest judges. “Each essay was excellent in its own way, but a few stood out above the rest.”

The following are the winners for each category. To read the winning essays, click on the topic link. (Essays have been edited slightly to facilitate readability):

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 3 to 5

Ashley E. Cooke
Hollow Hills Fundamental Elementary School
Age 11; Grade 5

If Simi Valley Hospital had a mascot, what would it be?

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 6 to 8

Justin Ryder
Valley View Middle School
Age 11; Grade 6

How does a career in healthcare enrich humanity?

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 9 to 12

Jeremy Van Driessche
Royal High School
Age 16; Grade 11

What are the key principles of wellness, and how does following them create a healthy community?