East Orange, N.J. – June 23, 2021: Today Mayor Ted R. Green announced the winners of the East Orange Father’s Day Student Essay Contest. The contest, which launched in early June, tasked students in grades 3-8 to submit a one-page essay describing why they love their dad or father figure. The first place winner received a grand prize of $100, second place received $75, third and fourth place winners received $50 each. All winners will also have the opportunity to be Mayor for a Day, shadowing Mayor Green as he takes them on a tour of East Orange to learn about all aspects of municipal government.
“We just wanted to make sure that Father’s in the community can see how special they are and the impact they have on their child’s life. We received dozens of submissions and this was a tough contest to score, but overall, we learned that the Father’s of East Orange are super dads!”
The winners of the East Orange Father’s Day Essay Contest are listed below along with their submission:
1st Place: Sebastian Jimenez, 4th Grader at Johnnie Cochran Academy
I love my dad, Ramon Antonio Jimenez very much. He is a loving and strong person who takes care of my family and me. He works diligently as an accountant at First Eagle Investment Management. I like his job because he uses a lot of math methods at his job and he can use that to help me with my math homework.
My dad has a special relationship with me, very different from my little sisters because we do many activities together. When he comes home from work, we eat dinner together and read books before we go to bed. If we are lucky, we watch a movie as a family and argue over who gets to snuggle with him, first. On the weekends we do many activities. We take day trips to go fishing early in the morning or camping with a group of guys. We wrestle in our living room, against my mother’s wishes and promise that no one will get hurt. Even though she doesn’t like it, she loves that he plays with me and that’s what matters most of all. Sunny days are for bike riding, following our favorite, secret trail. I love it when he takes me places, like to the range and especially when we can get there on his motorcycle. We play catch and go in the pool on hot
summer days. I get excited when he participates in my drawing competitions, as we can create doodles together without judgment that I always win. Sometimes I ask him what I should draw that day, he comes up with cool things that I probably would not think of. He always tells me the right way to do things. When I do wrong, he tells me how I can do better. Papi is sometimes strict, but I still love him, and I’ve learned that’s how he shows me love, too.
Another incredible part of my dad is that he often stops all of his work just to answer my questions about school or share which Marvel character is his favorite or if he could have any superpower, which one would it be? He will take a break once in a while when I play video games because his office is in our basement. He watches me play and helps me finish a level or a mission I’m struggling with. When he finishes his work at home, he can just walk up the stairs and play with me or help out around the house. The reason is when he works from home; it only takes a few seconds to go from downstairs to upstairs but when he goes to his job in New York he comes back at 8:00 or 9:00pm. I love him because after a long day of work and making money for my family, he still keeps on caring for my family and me when he walks in the door. He’ll even leave his dinner aside so he can tuck us in and say goodnight.
My dad shows love by appreciating me and the things I do well. Almost every night he comes to my bed to say goodnight to me. On nights when he has more time, he lays down on my bed, and we read books or talk about different things that only he can know. I like to show him all the drawings and art that I make. He is always very impressed. He likes the handmade cards I give him. He sometimes makes hilarious jokes when I feel unhappy and all I can do is laugh. I trust my dad and he trust me. He encourages me to do things that I like to do. He always works hard and never gives up. When he does something, he finishes it before going to the next thing. He tries to do everything he can for my family and me. He is always planning for something fun to do when we have time. I love him so much because he is brave, proud, confident, and he sets the best example for me to be from now until forever.
2nd Place: Angel D’Hereaux , 5th Grader at Benjamin Banneker Academy
Why I Love My Dad
If you're wondering what a great father figure is you should take a look at my dad. Since a little girl, he has kept me beside him and close to his heart. People say that my dad may be a little overprotective, but I know he just wants his little girls to be safe. He teaches me educational things that are above my level because he knows I like to learn. For instance, he started teaching me multiplication when I was in the 1st grade just so I could be ahead of my grade level. My dad is amazing!
He works hard every day so we can have the things we need and want. My dad plays video games with us even when he may be tired. My dad always speaks highly of our family and only wants the best for all of us. I love my dad because everything that he does is for his family. My dad is my best friend and if he wasn't here life wouldn’t be the same that's why I pray for him every night before I go to bed.
I am so blessed to have a dad like him! He comforts me when I'm sad or mad. He encourages me to always follow my dreams and to not let anyone tell me I can't do it. He is one of my inspirations and I love the way he treats our mom. He shows my little sister and I how we're supposed to be treated if we ever decide to get married. These are some of the reasons why I love my daddy so much!!
3rd Place: Lashay Grissom, 7th Grader at Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts
My name is Lashay Grissom I am going to the 8th grade and I attend Cicely Tyson School of Performance Arts in East Orange, NJ This is my letter about my Dad.
I love my Father because he encourages me and lets me know that all things are possible with God. He loves me for who I am and makes me a better person. Without my dad I wouldn’t know who I would be till this day. He teaches my sister and I how a man should treat us and my uncle and brother, how men should be. My father loves his family and is there for everyone when they call him. He works hard everyday to provide for us and loves my Mother very much.
My dad is amazing, loving, generous, crazy at times but funny, and he loves God and his grill. He cares for me and supports me and for that I love you dad❤️x.
4th Place: Joshua Williams, 6th Grader at Whitney Houston Academy
Most people may not speak well of their dads, but I can say with confidence my dad is caring, hard working, kind and funny and really cool. I admire my father and I aspire to be just like him one day, Maybe even better!
From my perspective my dad is very kind. He's always helping people in need. For example when we went out to get some dinner a lady was in the store and was trying to get food. A man was trying to buy her a meal and she refused to take his kind offer. So instead my dad got her the exact meal she wanted. Sometime’s if he has change, he’ll usually give some to random people. My dad always taught me to be considerate of others.
Another thing I see in my dad is caring because he always makes sure he has time for me. He never neglected me. I usually get all of his attention unless he’s doing something important and even when that happens he always comes back to see what happened. On Saturday we always spend time together and catch up on what happened on the weekdays.
My dad is such a hard worker, he never slacks off. Whenever he’s at work he doesn't play around but is always focused. He's always on time early even and sometimes does things outside of his job description This is why I aspire to be like my father. He's a great man and a better father.
In conclusion you may not know your dad, and you may not like him but even if he wasn't there for you, I think that you should be able to say great things about your father. It's not fair how people hate their fathers just because they might have left them. All fathers have qualities that their children should admire.