Senior Pens Winning Essay

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Hampton Bays High School senior and aspiring journalist Julia Heming earned third place in the New York State VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest for her original and well-crafted entry. 

In her essay, “What Makes America Great,” Heming expressed that America is not just great for one single reason, but rather because of its diversity. She also spoke about the country’s military, academic opportunities, unity and political representation. 

Heming said that her winning essay is a testament to her love for, and roots in, America. The daughter of a U.S. Navy vet, she has ancestors on both parents’ sides who can be traced back to the Mayflower, as well as an ancestor who was an original signer of the Declaration of Independence.

“I am American as apple pie,” she said. 

When not writing essays, Heming serves as editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, The Tide, and as an intern for the Southampton Press. She is also a member of her school’s Key Club and coaches cheer at Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional Catholic School.

She plans to study journalism in college.