The winners of the St. John’s Medical Center youth essay contest were announced Friday during the hospital’s 100th anniversary celebration, “Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Future.”
First-place winners for the three age categories were Silvia Kim-Miller, older brother Aidan Kim-Miller and Josie Berry. Their essays, along with the work of other applicants, were included in the anniversary time capsule.
At the close of the ceremony, the anniversary time capsule was installed, to be opened in 2066. Some of the things inside are medical items. Others represent Jackson Hole in 2016, like photos of babies born Sept. 9, a copy of the Sept. 9 issue of the Jackson Hole Daily, an issue of National Geographic featuring Yellowstone National Park, and commemorative items from the Wort Hotel’s 75th anniversary.
The plan was to put only the first-place student essays in the time capsule, but hospital spokeswoman Karen Connelly said all the essays were so great that it was decided to include every submission.
“We were very impressed with the work and decided they should all go into the capsule,” Connelly said.
“I think they were such cool artifacts to include because now that we’re moving into our second century of service, those kids are who it’s all about now,” she said. “They’re the future.”
Connelly looks forward to those children, as well as all the students in the valley, possibly being present in 50 years when the capsule is opened.
“It was an awesome way to include them in the celebration,” Connelly said.
The writing topics varied by grade level. For those entering kindergarten through second grade, the prompt was, “What do you and your family do to stay healthy? In 2066, when you are grown up, what will you be doing to stay healthy?” For those entering third through fifth grades, the prompt was, “It is 2066 and you work or volunteer at St. John’s Medical Center. Write a story about what your job is at the hospital and what you do to help people be healthy.” For those entering sixth through eighth grades, the prompt was, “Submit a story about a medical invention that improves the world. What is the invention? How does it work? How will it make the world better?”
Second- and third-place winners were Piper Benjamin and Metta Campbell in the K-2 division; Will King and Dafne Hernandez Flores, grades three-five; and Alexander Perez-Leon and Sofia Madera, grades six-eight.
First-place winners received $100 while second place took home $20.16 and third place $19.16 — honoring the time span of 100 years between 1916 and today.
St. John’s partnered with the Teton Literacy Center and local author Shawn Klomparens to develop and judge the contest.