Tucson high school student wins 17th annual Olive Garden essay contest | News
Natalie Marcantonio, a freshman at St. Augustine Catholic School was one of 13 students chosen in the Olive Garden’s Pasta Tales essay contest. The students were tasked to write an essay on how they would end hunger in their communities.
Natalie won a $500 savings bond and a family dinner at their local Olive Garden. Her essay was chosen from over 8,000 entries written by students from first through 12th grade across the U.S.
The grand prize winner was a freshman from Waukegan, Illinois – Chris Cocom. He received a trip to New York City and $2,500 savings bond, as well as a family meal at the Times Square Olive Garden in New York City. Olive Garden also presented a $5,000 grant to support his idea.
All essays were reviewed by the Quill and Scroll Society of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Iowa and judged based on creativity, adherence to theme, organization, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
The following is a list of winners:
- Grade 1: Kali Singh, Minnesota
- Grade 2: Emily Davidson, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Grade 3: Ben Donahue-Pendergrass, California
- Grade 4: Diya Kar, California
- Grade 5: Derzan Chiang, Ohio
- Grade 6: Caleigh Morris, West Virginia
- Grade 7: Hayley Smith, Texas
- Grade 8: Haley Maguire, Arizona
- Grade 9: Natalie Marcantonio, Arizona
- Grade 10: Emily Battles, Georgia
- Grade 11: Adam Judge, Nebraska
- Grade 12: Lucy Brandenburg, Wisconsin
Natalie’s essay follows:
Pasta Tales: My plan to end hunger in Tucson
Hunger is a problem in Tucson that, with support can be put to an end. My idea to be able to end, or at least to help end hunger in Tucson is to have a nonprofit greenhouse that will house all kinds of vegetables and fruit that will be donated to soup kitchens and the food bank to provide people that have been unfortunate enough to become homeless with food to eat.
This greenhouse will be a Palram 8 ft. 2 ½ inch x 6 ft. 2 in polycarbonate greenhouse model that cost $699 that consists of four shelves for plants to grow on in pots. This model has crystal-clear polycarbonate glass that lets in sunlight but is UV protected.
Along with that there is plenty of headroom because it is 6 ft. 10 ¼ inches tall allowing space to work with plants.
Which brings me to my next idea. Students at my school (St. Augustine Catholic High School) are required to do service hours and through this project the students could come to help care for the plants and earn service hours. Also they can have their parents help out through donating money to keep the greenhouse running and for supplies along with the plants, which could count towards parent service hours. The greenhouse itself could be put in my backyard at my house and there I could care for the plants. All profits will then be donated to the food bank and any local soup kitchens.
Thank you for reading my essay and please take into consideration my idea.