Jake R. Cairns
Jake is a 17-year-old from Evans, Georgia who attends Evans High School as a Junior. He has played lacrosse for four years and is currently the varsity goalie for the Evans Knights! Jake’s hobbies are doing anything outdoors and music. He enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, boating, hunting and exploring all over the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains, waterfalls and rivers. When Jake is not busy exploring the great outdoors, you will find him at the piano playing and composing songs. Jake did not find his love for music until the pandemic hit in 2020. Bored and stuck in the house, he taught himself to read, play and compose music on the piano and guitar. Jake has been accepted to Toccoa Falls College where he plans to major in Outdoor Leadership and minor in Worship Music. This path combines both of his passions for the outdoors and music. After college Jake hopes to work for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a game warden and continue to play music whenever possible.
Coralyn M. Cairns
Coralyn Cairns is a Freshman at Lakeside Highschool in Georgia and is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program there. She is involved in Student Government, Science Olympiad, and the school’s production of Aladdin. Some other musicals she has played in are 101 Dalmatians and a Christmas Carol. Because of her love of fine arts, at one-point Coralyn whole-heartedly focused on acting, singing, and modeling. However, she now focuses on academics and is at the top of her class. While her favorite subject is science, she is also very passionate about foreign languages. Currently, she takes both Spanish and French, and hopes to start Latin soon. Additionally, Coralyn is a Sunday School teacher at her church on the weekends. Over the summer, she enjoys swimming competitively with her friends and sewing clothes. In the future, Coralyn wants to go on to be a pathologist. Coralyn’s family is very musical, with her father, who sings and plays the guitar, being her inspiration. He also teaches political science which has helped instill in her the importance of the Constitution.
Jake and Coralyn would also like to say thank you and express how proud they are of their older brother, Wyatt, who is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Listen To Their Winning Song Below:
Our Interview With Coralyn & Jake
Was this the first time you entered the contest?
Carolyn: This submission was my first for Constituting America.
Jake: I have not entered this contest before.
How did you hear about the contest?
Carolyn: I have a myOptions account through my school, and I occasionally peruse on there. Over the summer, I saw the contest on the scholarships page, and I was excited because it sounded like something I would really like to do.
Jake: My sister learned about the contest and asked me to partner up and create the song.
What inspired your work?
Carolyn: I think for writing lyrics, you have to find an inspiration that just opens the creative floodgates in your brain. Like a catchy melody or rhyming words that just stick in your mind. That’s what happened for me. Before I wrote the lyrics, we did a lot of research about the actual information, but because most people know the gist of the first amendment, we kind of overlooked it. However, I decided to look back at it, and I found the words press and redress. That immediately brought the building melody that we have in the chorus to my mind and we just built off of that.
Jake: The favorite artist who originally led me to the piano is Elton john. Much of my piano playing is inspired by his music and playing style.
What did you learn while creating your entry?
Carolyn: I have been writing my own lyrics since I was like maybe 7 or 8, but I have never actually put them to music. My brother plays other pieces or creates songs occasionally and then adds lyrics to them, but he doesn’t start with the lyrics. So I think we both learned how to mesh our two styles, musical backgrounds, and ideas together to make something cool.
Jake: I learned a great deal while creating this piece about the composition of a song and how to create distinct sections like a verse, pre chorus, and chorus.
How do you plan to spread the word this year to your peers about the importance of the U.S Constitution?
Carolyn: I am currently taking an AP Government and Politics course and it has opened my eyes. I have a dad who teaches these concepts for a living and I couldn’t have told you most of the stuff about the Constitution that I know now a year ago. So for people who want to learn more about our country’s origins, I would recommend they take a Government course. Just learning about all the facets to the Constitution and the intentions behind the words of our Founders instills in you the Constitution’s importance. In the week that I am writing this, my class is talking about the President’s delegated powers along with Federalist 70, and how the Founders had so much for thought and inspiration to come up with a system that made an energetic President, yet still have a Congress that checks their power. To have created this document that has upheld our country’s values for so long, is absolutely crazy to me. For anyone who wants to hear, I can go on.
Jake: I plan to spread the importance of the constitution to my peers by starting conversation about current political issues. If I can shed more light on topics like gun control and social media censorship, the Constitutional Amendments will better be understood among my peers.
How do your friends respond to history or talking about the Constitution?
Carolyn: I moved school zones this year to be able to take part in the IB program in our county. I had to make all new friends. However, the group of people I am surrounded by are extremely bright and curious people. I have always had friends who were invested in their education, but it is refreshing to be around people who also care deeply about truly learning. All year my Government course has challenged us, but we help each other out, not only to receive good grades, but also because we are interested in the Constitution and our history and want to collaborate. It is a difficult class, but most of my friends would say it is one of their favorite classes.
Jake: The majority of my friends enjoy conversation about the constitution and American history, although most lack any concern of it being degraded or taken away.
What do you love about U.S. History and the forming of our government?
Carolyn: I love what I talked about earlier. Just the careful intention behind every single word of our Constitution. And also I think the unity of early America is truly inspiring. As human beings we have always had different opinions, but against all odds we fought for John Locke’s life, liberty, and (Thomas Jefferson’s change) the pursuit of happiness. Plus, after the Constitution’s ratification, the entire country was like, “Yep, we want Washington”. With how fractured America is now, I find the unity very admirable.
Jake: The thing I love most about United States history and the formation of its government is the focus on limited governmental power. The founding fathers’ focus was on individual freedom and liberty. While the government has expanded today the expansions are progressive and are used to help Americans so it still carries on a tradition of a people first government.
Which U.S. historical site would you like to visit?
Carolyn: I would like to visit the White House. I went to Washington, D.C. in 6th grade and we were supposed to visit the White House, but the tour got cancelled. Out of all the places we went, I would have liked that the most. The White House is the home and office of every President to have ever lived, and the President is the energy and face of America.
Jake: I would like to visit Mt. Rushmore and see the massive sculptures of the presidents.
Which American historical figure is most influential/inspirational to you?
Carolyn: I would say the most influential historical figure to me would have to be First Lady Abigail Adams. Not only was she an advocate for women’s education, but also an advocate for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. #RememberTheLadies
Jake: My most influential and inspiring historical figure is Thomas Jefferson. I completely agree with the stance Jefferson took with keeping a small central government and his focus on free speech.
Who is your greatest role model?
Carolyn: My greatest role model would be my mother. She has always worked so hard for my siblings and I, and is super supportive. When I wanted to focus on acting, singing, and modeling, she was right there. When I’m sad, she uplifts me. When I wanted to switch schools for IB, even though it would be harder to get me there, she was on board. My mom has very few flaws, and I would say that I have corrected most of them. Since I have been able to recommend changes to her outfits, they have been much better. She and I are best friends and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Jake: Elton John and Billy Joel are my biggest role models, and I hope to one day make as unique and beautiful music as they did in the 1970s.
What in your life are you most passionate about?
Carolyn: I think I am most passionate about medicine and science. A few years ago, I would have said singing was my main passion, but in recent years my love for everything scientific has increased tenfold, specifically in the area of pathology. I am an incredibly curious and analytical person and I feel like that’s where I can make my impact in the world.
Jake: In life, I am most passionate about music and the outdoors. I love to hunt and camp along with playing piano and guitar.
How do you spend your free time?
Carolyn: I spend my free time sewing clothes, bags, stuffed animals, etc. I also like to swim competitively, record songs with my brother (I guess you know that), participate in clubs and plays at school, and volunteer at my church.
Jake: I am the starting goalie of my high school lacrosse team, and when I’m not playing lacrosse I play and write music on my piano.
What are your plans for the future?
Carolyn: When I go off to college, I want to major in some sort of pre-med program and minor in one of my languages. Then I want to go to medical school and hopefully intern at a medical examiner’s office. That’s because, at least right now, I want to be a forensic pathologist. As for short-term, I hope to be at the top of my class and receive an IB diploma when I graduate highschool.
Jake: I would like to become a Georgia park ranger and work in the state parks I frequently go camping and hiking in.
If you could do one super impactful thing to help people, what would it be?
Carolyn: If I could do one super impactful thing in my life, I would establish more medical centers around the globe. The most important aspect of medicine is prevention and there are so many places around the world that need more medical care. The centers would be used to provide yearly check-ups, life-saving services, and education about taboo subjects
clouded with misinformation to communities who don’t have those resources.
Jake: I would like to work as a park ranger and help prevent harm to the forests of America, so often these parks are polluted and misused by people and I would like to help protect them.
Why is the Constitution relevant today?
Carolyn: The Constitution is incredibly relevant today. It was and still is the leading example of a free and democratic government. It provides the blueprint for our expertly balanced government, and even accounts for modern day issues. For modern day issues from taxes to the economy to foreign policy, the Constitution delegates powers to our leaders. Being familiar with the Constitution allows citizens to be able to be active members of America’s political process and understand what’s going on.
Jake: Now more than ever certain constitutional rights are being debated over like the continued push for gun control and censorship on free opinions. I feel more and more Americans are ignorant of the rights they possess and why they are important.