St. Croix Prep student wins essay contest

 Vikings Quarterback Coach Craig Johnson, left, David Davenport, Ellie Davenport and a National Center for Fathering representative after Ellie Davenport’s essay won the ninth grade category of the 2013 Minnesota Twins “Father of the Year” essay contest. (Submitted photo)


Vikings Quarterback Coach Craig Johnson, left, David Davenport, Ellie Davenport and a National Center for Fathering representative after Ellie Davenport’s essay won the ninth grade category of the 2013 Minnesota Twins “Father of the Year” essay contest. (Submitted photo)

St. Croix Prep Academy student Ellie Davenport won first place in the ninth grade category of the 2013 Minnesota Twins Father of the Year Essay Contest.

Davenport won $100 cash, Twins tickets and she and her dad, David Davenport, were recognized at a Celebration of Fathers banquet in St Paul. Vikings quarterback coach Craig Johnson presented the awards.

Davenport’s essay was among 5,223 essays submitted in the contest.

The National Center for Fathering created its annual K-12 essay contest, organized through schools, to raise awareness of the importance of fathers and father figures. This year’s essay topic was, “What my father means to me.” Ellie Davenport talked about how her dad has helped her cope with scoliosis and how she developed a web site for other girls with scoliosis (gotscoliosis.com). She added that through windsurfing together, her dad taught her to “adjust her sails”. Here’s an excerpt from her essay:
“Through windsurfing, he taught me how to get through hard times. When I was learning, I would get tired and bored; I wanted to quit. But he always said, “We are not leaving until the wind becomes your friend.” So we stayed. I complained. On more than one occasion, I got blown to the middle of the lake only to become stranded. Dad would sail out to me and sail us both back to shore; back to safety. No lectures, no guilt, just love. Finally, one day, I mastered how to use the sail, and the wind stopped being my adversary. It was my new best friend.

My dad inspires me through his actions, his morals and his British accent. He strives to stand for what he believes in — and he believes in me. He’s impacted me in ways I don’t even know yet. I can’t control the world around me, but because of my dad, I can always laugh and adjust my sail.”

Fathers.com is the web site for the National Center for Fathering, a non-profit educational organization that provides research-based training and resources so men are equipped to address their children’s needs. The highly successful school program, “Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students),” encourages dads to have a positive presence in schools, and was featured in February by Matt Lauer on the “Today Show.”

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