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State-wide YGA Winner ~ Hellen Nganga
Posted On:
Monday, December 12, 2016
Hellen with her father & State Superintendent, Richard Woods
Hellen with her father & State Superintendent, Richard Woods

The Young Georgia Authors (YGA) contest is an annual competition sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. The purpose of the YGA contest is to encourage students to develop a love and passion for writing. The contest has been used to recognize and celebrate the superior writing skills of Georgia students for over two decades.

Each year students throughout the state in kindergarten through twelfth grade are encouraged to enter a piece of writing in the YGA writing contest. Every school in each county, state-wide, selects one exceptional piece of writing per grade level. Those writing entries are then judged at the county level. The county level winners are recognized at an award ceremony. Each county level winner moves forward in the competition as the grade level winner to represent the county at the state level. Once at the state level, one entry per grade level is selected as the state Young Georgia Author winner.

Mt. Carmel Elementary School is “Growing Leaders!” On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Hellen Nganga, now a fifth grader at Mt. Carmel Elementary School, attended the Young Georgia Authors award ceremony presented by the Georgia Department of Education Superintendent, Richard Woods. Miss Nganga was recognized as the fourth grade state winner and was celebrated for her outstanding work and superlative writing skills for an essay that she wrote titled, “Hellen’s Diary: Philadelphia, PA, Jan. 15, 1776.” Her essay was submitted in the YGA contest by her then fourth grade teacher, Dr. Linda James.

When asked how she feels about writing, Hellen humbly replied, “Writing can be very stress relieving for me. It is a great way for me to express my thoughts and feelings.” When asked what she has learned about herself as a writer, she replied, “I am very proud and honored that my writing went to the county level, much less the state.” She went on to say, “You never know when a small piece (of writing) can turn into something great!”

The Mt. Carmel Elementary School administrators, faculty, and staff, along with Miss Nganga’s family and friends, are very proud of her for winning this very prestigious award. The last Mt. Carmel Elementary student to win at the county level was in 2012, and, most impressively, the Douglas County School System has never had a student to win the YGA contest at the state level until now.

Hellen Nganga is a rising star! She is a very bright, talented, compassionate, and friendly young lady. We are very thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to be a part of her education, and we look forward to what the future has in store for her.

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