Extraordinary ACA Essays

Juniors Max Williams, Ben Eusterbrock, and Caroline Cunningham wrote outstanding essays for the ACA competition

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Juniors Max Williams, Ben Eusterbrock, and Caroline Cunningham wrote outstanding essays for the ACA competition

Lexi Bross, Staff Writer

The Annual Catholic Appeal, or ACA, is a foundation in St. Louis that provides support for Catholic Charities, Catholic youth Initiative, Catholic schools, vocations and more. The ACA gives out three scholarships a year to St. Dominic Juniors based on an essay monitored by the religion teachers. This year’s theme was Stewardship.

Third Place

The third place spot was awarded to junior Caroline Cunningham, who received $500 towards her high school tuition. Cunningham’s essay was inspired by someone who came to her youth group and gave a talk about their experience with the homelessness.

“Her name was Sister Crystal and her story moved me so much that it stuck with me for months until I wrote my paper,” Cunningham said.

Sister Crystal told the youth group about the brutality of homelessness and what she and her foundation, Jesus in Disguise Ministry, aims to do about it. Her ministry reminded Cunningham of the different homeless programs the ACA supports.

“I really wanted to win this essay contest so I put a lot of thought and effort into writing my paper. I was so happy that my paper won third place because it meant someone had read it and been moved by Crystal’s story like I had,” Cunningham said.

Second Place

Moving forward with the second place winner, junior Ben Eusterbrock, who won $750 towards his high school tuition. Eusterbrock was inspired to write his paper on the St. Dominic community because it is full of people who act as stewards everyday.

“I wrote about what being a good steward means to me, and how the stewardship of the ACA has had a significant impact on my faith, thanks to programs like CYC sports and Steubenville Youth Conferences,” Eusterbrock said.

Eusterbrock’s passion was surely not overlooked in his essay, as it was chosen for the second place spot. He was thrilled and serenely grateful to be recognized and have his essay be chosen.

First Place

Finally, on top as the first place winner was junior Max Williams. With inspiration from his sacraments and morality teacher Mr. Eckhard, Williams won $1,000 to his high school scholarship.

“I have learned so much in his class in just a single semester, and I even mentioned one of his class activities in my essay,” Williams said.

One of the main topics of his essay revolved around stewardship and how he felt called to bring the same connection to God that he felt personally in his life to those around him on a day to day basis. Williams put his heart on the page and reaped the benefits of his vulnerability.

“I can remember the day that I opened the letter that was sent from the Bishop, stating that I had won the competition. I was definitely proud of the time and effort that I put towards the essay, and I was relieved that it paid off in the end,” Williams said.

The ACA is a wonderful organization that helps out in so many different ways, and has had a tremendous impact on our own St. Dominic community! Congratulations to Caroline Cunningham, Ben Eusterbrock, and Max Williams on their accomplished writing and dedication to the faith.