Students at the Saint Patrick School in Rolla ended the year with a lesson in the value of community.

Eighth graders under the direction of English teacher Rosalia Meusch wrote persuasive essays in class, each choosing a local non profit and explaining why they would be deserving of a financial grant. 

The other students in the school, second through seventh grade, listened to these essays, and selected three winners and one runner up. The writers of the selected essays were then able to deliver actual grant checks to the winning organizations. 

The winning essays were, “A Mission to Serve,” by Bella Kestle, about the Rolla Mission, “Second Chances,” by Jaimison Heese, about the Rolla Animal Shelter, and “This Place of Love - This Sanctuary,” by Isabella McMillan, about the Forget Me Not Horse Rescue and Sanctuary.” The runner-up essay was, “A Little Bag of Hope,” by Abby Hobbs, about the Hope Alliance of Missouri and the Friday Backpack Program. 

Each non-profit championed by one of the winning essays received $250, and the runner-up essay organization received $250. 

“Writing…is hard work,” said Meusch. “But my students persevere and continue to amaze me with their hard work, intelligence, compassion and insight.” Meusch explained the grant money was given by an anonymous donor.