Jade Carlile – Winner, Best Essay

Jade Carlile is a 16-year-old junior from Highland, UT, who loves being actively involved in her community and a variety of hobbies. She has founded both the PSI Alpha National Psychology Honor Society and the Latino Culture Society at her school and is actively engaged in Model UN, Chess Club, The Floor-Political Debate Club, and the National Honor Society within her school. Outside of school, her curiosity extends to neuroscience, and she has participated in programs at both UW and Stanford. She is also interning at The Neuro Clinic to study clinical magnetic stimulation. Beyond academics, Jade enjoys photography, cooking, baking, and is a proud member of the largest girls’ tackle football league in the country, where the game and her teammates mean everything to her.

Click here to read Jade’s Winning Essay!

Our Interview With Jade

Was this the first time you entered the contest?
Yes, this is the first time I’ve entered the contest.

How did you hear about the contest?
I heard about the contest online, from an instagram list of the top America-focused essay contests.

What inspired your work?
I was inspired by the marginalized groups around the world who struggle through a slow fight for justice because they haven’t been given the same democratic foundation as Americans.

What did you learn while creating your entry?
While preparing for my essay, I was able to develop my understanding of complex historical fights for justice that I’d only understood on a surface level before.

How do you plan to spread the word this year to your peers about the importance of the U.S Constitution?
In my politically-based extracurriculars, I plan to encourage incorporation of Constitutional arguments into every discussion so we can focus on the Constitution’s importance in forming personal opinions.

How do your friends respond to history or talking about the Constitution?
Many of my friends were made through a political debate club, so they love discussing the Constitution and, despite their different interpretations of it, people my age attach a lot of respect to it.

What do you love about U.S History and the forming of our government?
In my government class, I keep finding myself grateful and amazed that the founding fathers were so thorough. It’s rare that a document that old would hold up for that long, but every word is still applicable to contemporary issues because the framers managed to create something so predictive.

Which U.S. historical site would you like to visit?
I would love to visit Mesa Verde! Beyond being amazing architecturally, I think it represents the strong presence of the indigenous in the Southwest, where I’m from.

Which American historical figure is most influential/inspirational to you?
Dolores Huerta is someone I’ve always looked up to. She demonstrates what it means to fight for your community. She means a lot to me as a Latina. She mobilized change for labor workers and her perseverance towards change informs the type of person I want to become.

Who is your greatest role model?
My Mom has always been my greatest role model, she’s the most vibrant, fun and loving person I know and I look up to her a lot.

What in your life are you most passionate about?
I really like the idea of doing as much as you can: saying yes to everything, taking every opportunity, meeting as many people as possible, pushing yourself to make the most of your time without being complacent in being bored with life.

How do you spend your free time?
I spend a lot of my free time on a football field, running endless tackle and blocking drills. I love every second of it. Football’s always been one of my passions and my team has become like a second family.

What are your plans for the future?
Eventually, I’d like to go to graduate school for neuroscience, but before that I really care about seeing the world. I want to see as many countries as possible, meet new people from every corner of the world, and see as much of the planet as I can.

If you could do one super impactful thing to help people, what would it be?
I’d want to create an initiative that provides pro bono legal counseling to immigrants that don’t have the resources to pay for services themselves.

Why is the Constitution relevant today?
The Constitution is an important framework for everything we do going forward. If we forget the Constitution then we forget our purpose. It reminds us what our values are, where we came from, and informs where we want to go.

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