Congressional Seminar Essay Contest Scholars Awarded - The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois

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Updated 4/15/2019 4:30 PM

(CHICAGO, IL) The National Society of The Colonial Dames in the State of Illinois is pleased to recognize and congratulate the 2019 Essay Contest Scholars. Since 1977, Dames have been passionate about seeking out and celebrating the very best students of American history. We call on Illinois high school talent to enter the Congressional Seminar Essay Contest sponsored by the National Society. The Illinois winners of the 2019 essay contest are awarded a scholarship to attend a week-long Washington Workshops Foundation Congressional Seminar in Washington, DC, including full tuition, room and board for the program and round-trip transportation fare. Additionally, the teacher of each winning student is awarded $300 for the purchase of school supplies.

2019 essay topic: What do you think the authors of the Bill of Rights intended the Second Amendment to mean? Do you think it is being interpreted correctly today?


This year the Illinois Society has the privilege of acknowledging the following three students who share our commitment to excellence in scholarship and who exemplify inspired learning and discovery of American history.


Waukegan High School


Downers Grove North High School


Downers Grove North High School

Our greatest thanks go to the educators who set the example and inspire their young learners to be better students and strive for knowledge. We are grateful for their nurturing support, guidance and precious life lessons that endure and leave a lasting impact for future generations.


Waukegan High School (Teacher of April Greider)


Downers Grove North High School (Teacher of Lucas Marra)


Downers Grove North High School (Teacher of Madeline Naisbitt)

Our special appreciation goes to our expert judges -- Freddie Hayes, Mary O'Hara, Jean Perkins and Kathleen Taylor, for giving their time and experience to champion great student skills in Illinois. And our best wishes go to every student who entered.

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Students, parents, and teachers have also expressed enthusiastic thanks to the Illinois Dames for making it possible for these young people to attend the Seminar:

Thank you for offering this wonderful opportunity to Lucas. Parent -- Katherine Marra

Thank you for passing on the wonderful news that Lucas Marra has won the Colonial Dames essay contest. He cannot be more excited about this opportunity! Also, many thanks to your organization for granting the $300.00 for the purchase of school supplies; my entire department is appreciative of this gesture. Teacher -- Amy Wlodek-Holland

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for our students and the funding for our department. I had the pleasure of teaching Maddie Naisbitt…. She will represent our school and state very well. Teacher -- Dennis Rogala

We are honored to be a part of this event and we are so pleased Madeline will be a part of it. Parent -- John Naisbitt

[W]e are so happy you are helping April …. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! We are excited for April. Parent -- Kathryn Greider


Yes, my older sister is Liesl. She was excited to hear I won and has told me good things about her time at the seminar. I'm very excited for this opportunity, thank you! -- Waukegan High School student, April Greider [April's sister, Liesl Greider, also attended Waukegan High School and was awarded a scholarship by the Illinois Dames to the 2017 Congressional Seminar.]

I am so proud of her [April]. Teacher -- John Franco


THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DAMES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS (NSCDA-IL): The NSCDA-IL is dedicated to furthering an appreciation of our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects. To learn more, visit

THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA (NSCDA): In this 21st Century, the NSCDA is responsible for educating its membership and the American people about the values and principles set forth by our Founding Fathers that shaped our culture and for demonstrating the relevance of America's history of liberty and freedom. The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, founded in 1891, is an unincorporated association of 44 Corporate Societies with more than 15,200 members. To learn more about the work of today's NSCDA, visit