ECLC

WITH CHALLENGE COMES CHANGE: FIRST PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S COVID-19 ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won first prize ($1,000) in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (First Prize)

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” —Robert Tew.

July 15, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Throughout our lifetime, we pass through so many different situations, some that make us smile and others that make us cry. We get rewarded by some, and we get challenged by others. What is interesting though is that we get to pick the way we react. We get to choose our life and shape it the way we want, despite our struggles, and if we do that right, we develop our strengths. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the United States, it was a struggle for everyone, and only the people who overcame their struggles came out of it stronger than ever. Personally, I had to overcome challenges academically since online school was extremely difficult, physically since my health was deteriorating as my weight increased, and mentally, since my mental health was worsening as well. However, although there were many challenges and struggles that came with COVID-19, there were also gains.  

FAMILY LIFE DURING COVID'S YEAR-AND-A-HALF: SECOND PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won second prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (Second Prize)

July 14, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Every single one of us has been affected by the current COVID-19 virus whether it was in a positive or negative way. However, the pandemic has affected people differently depending on our social status and our income. While some are adapting to school online and staying home for quarantine others are adapting to losing their jobs. COVID-19 has caused many businesses to go out of business, resulting in an overall of 25% of U.S. adults being laid off or losing their job. This doesn’t only have an effect on the adults but even on the children. From personal experience, I constantly think and stress about bills being paid because the idea of being homeless again is terrifying. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused low-income families to struggle to put food on the table and struggle with paying household bills as well as medical bills. It has been proven that the pandemic has hit low-income families the hardest, specifically African American and Hispanic households. 

TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL - A CANDID ACCOUNT OF COVID-19

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Maryam Hashimi

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 13, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- I was glad that schools were closing when Covid hit, but I was unaware of the difficult portion that lay ahead.

One of the most difficult aspects of COVID-19 was being at home the entire time. Throughout the academic year, I was heavily involved in school events. I would leave for school at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m.

Moving from a full schedule to an empty one was a significant adjustment. I simply didn’t know what to do with myself at home. My track and field, volleyball, and fashion show were all canceled, which made me very sad. Those were the only things that could keep me motivated and joyful on a daily basis. I grew depressed and had sporadic moments that I simply cried because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals.

NEW NORMAL

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Merna Poulis

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 12, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous aspects of our society today. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in every corner. Physical touch has been frowned upon for the past year, and distance is the new normal. Masks have become a substantial part of our everyday look. Going to school, or receiving an education has easily been one of the biggest challenges that everyone has had to face. Overall, COVID-19 has strongly impacted each and every one of us, but the classrooms have changed the way students view school physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

COVID AFFECTED US ALL

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Julia Baxter

West Hills High School student

July 11, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Even if you were not infected by COVID-19, no person escaped being impacted by it. The virus infiltrated every aspect of life, from having to instinctively grab a mask before leaving the house to causing national lockdowns. Life revolving around the coronavirus is starting to feel like the new normal. Students are one particular group that’s accustomed to persisting in the face of adversity, but the latest challenge has been difficult to adjust to for many, and it’s sink or swim. 

After experiencing almost a full school year in the midst of a pandemic, the unpredictability of life is beginning to grow old. Upperclassmen deal with colleges changing their requirements for applications on a monthly basis. They’re anxious about tests like the SAT and ACT being canceled and rescheduled constantly, and fight to get in extracurriculars to make up for lost time during the lockdown. Underclassmen are either freshmen who didn’t finish their last semester of middle school and began their first year of high school without seeing their teachers in person until September, or they are sophomores who did not get the chance to finish adjusting to high school expectations due to having their school year cut short.