Expedition Academy Student Wins Local American Dream Essay Contest

Expedition Academy Student Wins Local American Dream Essay Contest

Pictured are Expedition Academy English Teacher Fredrick Schwartz, Owen Calzada, Superintendent Craig Barringer. Calzada recently won the local American Dream Essay Contest. Courtesy photo

GREEN RIVER – An Expedition Academy High School student’s work won the local American Dream Essay Contest with his essay about how the “10 Principles to Live By,” more commonly known as the Cowboy Code of Ethics, has shaped his life. 

Owen Calzada, a junior at EAHS, was awarded $300 and will go to the state American Dream Essay Contest celebration in Casper on April 13, for a chance to win $5,000 if his essay is selected as the winning state submission. This year’s contest encouraged students in the Cowboy State to write about one of the Cowboy Ethics that impact their decisions, goals and attitudes while motivating them to pursue their vision regarding the meaning of their lives and the ethics guiding them. 

Calzada submitted his essay in December and was oblivious and somewhat nervous when the school’s front desk called him out of class. It was then he received a letter from the Boys and Girls Club informing him he won the local contest. 

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Calzada’s journey to becoming a successful author has been rocky. Still, those trials transformed Calzada into an A student at Expedition Academy and allowed him to pour his soul onto paper for catharsis. His definitive transformative treatise, “Ignoring and Understanding Fear,” is filled with tragedy and triumph, and its message exemplifies the first tenant of the Cowboy Ethics: Live Each Day With Courage.

“It was a challenging part of my life,” Calzada said. “There are always challenges, but you can learn from them. I think more about my actions before I commit than I used to.”  

While Calzada admits that it was not an easy endeavor to pursue, he recommends anyone dealing with trauma should write it down. 

“It was therapeutic,” Calzada said, “and it provided closure for me. When I finally finished and shut my computer down, I felt like I had closed the book on that part of my life.”