Shelton wins Voice of Democracy contest

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By Panzi Blackwell

The Browstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9770 recently announced Kelsey Shelton as the winner of its annual Voice of Democracy Scholarship Award for her winning essay.

The opportunity to submit an entry is offered to high school seniors. If the winner is going on to college, the amount of the scholarship is $250. If no further schooling is planned, the award is $50.

A 2009 Brownstown High School graduate, Kelsey has NASCAR among her interests. In fact, she likes NASCAR’s Jimmy Johnson to the extent of having his initials on her license plate.

Other favorite pastimes are playing soccer and hanging out with her younger sisters, Jenna, 16, and Lauren, 13.

She explained that her counselor at school, Gail Hardiek, inspired her to write an essay for the Voice of Democracy contest.

“My paper kind of covers everything,” she said, “from the American Revolution to 9/11 to Iraq,” she said

Kelsey laughs easily and has a contagious smile, but she is very serious about her future, as she is anticipating attending Greenville College to study social work the next four years. Eventually, she wants to work with children.

“I became interested in doing this while taking a child care class,” she said.

“I want to work with preschool children,” adding that she is also interested in working with Department of Children and Family Services.

Kelsey’s Family

My mother, Karen, baby-sits through the week and works at the Holiday Inn Express in Vandalia on the weekends. Her father works at Jansens’ Heating and Air in Effingham.”

The Shelton household also includes pets. “I have a cat named Kujo; two dogs, Bo and Daisy; and two birds.”

Kelsey is not only appreciative of the veterans who have made the world a safer place for her, but she also expressed a sincere appreciation for the Brownstown V.F.W. Post #9770 for the $250 scholarship, which she plans to use to eventually help others through her education.