PRINCETON — Princeton Christian Academy eighth-grader Natalie Richey wrote an essay this past fall as part of a class project for the Elks Americanism Essay Contest on “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me.”
Her essay was submitted first to the Oglesby Elks Lodge 2360 where she placed in the top three entries. Her essay then advanced to the district level, where she again placed in the top three, which advanced her essay to the state level where it is currently being judged with all other entries from all over the state of Illinois.
First-place winners at the state level win $500 and are then forwarded to the Grand Lodge Essay Contest for further national judging.
Last year Olivia Partin, then a sixth-grade student at Princeton Christian Academy, won the state level essay competition and the $500.
Natalie is the daughter of Nathan and Laura Richey of Walnut.