Nine-year-old Georgianna Mandel wins annual essay contest

TEMECULA – Georgianna Mandel, 9, has won first place in the annual essay contest conducted by Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park. Through this achievement, Georgianna, a third grader at Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School, helped her school win the Mayor’s Trophy.

The traveling trophy was presented to Jackson School Principal Shery Stewart by Temecula Mayor Chuck Washington at a Jackson Elementary School awards assembly, and again in front of the Reagan statue at the Can-Do Monument in Ronald Reagan Sports Park.

Asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Georgianna said, “I want to join the Air Force.”

When asked by Washington if she wanted to be a pilot, she nodded and said, “Yes.”

That’s how she learned that the Mayor is a pilot who served in the USAF and now flies for Delta Airlines.

The essay contest question was “Why is individual initiative important to you, and why do we honor President Reagan and the Temecula volunteers who built our first sports park?”

Georgianna’s answer was short, simple, and direct. In part, she wrote, “Individual initiative is important to me because I like to make jewelry for kids who don’t have any. I sell it for less than 75 cents. I learn to save my money so I don’t have to ask my parents.”

Georgianna also received a certificate for her essay. The entire essay will be published in the next edition of the Community Little Book, expected to come out this summer or early fall.

The FRRSP judges noted that they usually give the winner a U.S. savings bond, but after consulting with Georgianna’s father, Mark, they decided to give her a check for $75 in order to help her continue in her jewelry business.

Georgianna and Principal Stewart have been invited to be part of the FRRSP entry in the next Fourth of July Parade.

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