Congratulations to Aria Kelly (9th grade) & Molly Wilson (7th grade), winners of the 2017 Bertha Frothingham Essay Contest!  Below are their winning essays! We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
The question for the contest was:  If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use that power to benefit your community?
If I had Superpowers by Aria Kelly
Living in Windsor, Vermont is amazing.  The people are friendly and caring, and the atmosphere is a spectrum of all colors.  But nothing is perfect.  In our little town we have junkyard items, and we have many depressed teenagers.  Of course this does not make our town bad, and if I had superpowers I would change things for the better.  If I got to choose my own superpowers, I would choose the power of creativity and the power to fix the bad things in people's lives.
In our town, especially in the back corners, we have broken down cars and old houses nobody has touched in years.  Everyone can be creative, but the power of creativity would mean I would always have an idea for turning something into art.  If I had the power of creativity, I would use what I could find on the ground and in the back corners of Windsor to make sculptures.  These sculptures would show different things, such as what is going on in the world at the time of creation for this sculpture, or it would be something that every time someone looked at it, they would laugh and it would brighten up their day.  The power of creativity would make our town brighter and happier, which would also help with my other power.
Today more teenagers are depressed and suicidal than ever before.  Windsor is a small town, but in each classroom at any given time, I'm sure we could find at least one kid who was depressed or suicidal.  The causes of this range from family problems to self problems and kids sometimes feeling like they are falling too far behind in their learning.  For my second superpower I would choose the power to fix bad things in people's lives.  This power would allow me to tap into people's minds, or persuade them to work things out.  With this power I would stop bullies, and fix the wiring in someone's brain to make them not depressed.  I wouldn't take away their memories, but instead I would leave the memories and take away the pain.  With these two powers I could make our town brighter and happier.
Windsor is an amazing town and there aren't many like it.  Everything has its ups and downs.  If I had superpowers I would help make Windsor the town where everyone smiles.  They say smiling helps you live longer.  If I had these powers I would use them for the good of our town.  I wouldn't let bad things get between the residents that live here, and I would fix the small cracks in our beautiful little community.  I know they don't sound like the coolest superpowers, but they are what I would want.  There isn't much to change about Windsor because it is already a town I love, but with a little tweaking, it could be one of the happiest towns in Vermont.
Essay by Molly Wilson
 I know, I know.  This isn't quite what I was supposed to do.  Though if I could choose any superpower, anything in the world... I would choose nothing.  I personally look up to heroes in the real world, not so much in movies.  People who are selfless, who are brave.  People like my Grammy, who survived breast cancer, who lost her husband, yet still has stayed one of the most positive people I know.  She is good in tough situations, especially when I lost my Grandpa.  I felt as though a chunk had been ripped from my soul.  Even though she was sobbing inside my Grammy kept it together, she is the only reason I did not fall apart.  She gives so much for my family.
My cousin, he has autism, she drives him to Woodstock every time he asks, no matter the weather, no matter how she's feeling.  My Uncle Bobby is in a wheelchair.  Grammy is like his helper, she buys his groceries every week.  At her house, I feel safe.  Another person I look up to is Kenedi.  He was adopted from Africa when he was only a child because he had heart problems.  The doctors told him he could never run but that didn't stop him.  In college he ran 100 miles every week.  I guess his dedication paid off, now, he is the best runner I know.  Not only does he help people like me to overcome our self doubt and become good runners but he also works at a school, helping children with disabilities.
People like that, who had to work to get where they are today, are so much stronger and braver than someone who got their powers from a spider bite or an injection.  If I am to make an impact on our community it will be because of something I did, because people genuinely like me, not because of some magical superpower I have.  As for how exactly I want to be remembered in my community, I am not really sure.  I am not one of those people who enjoys being in the spotlight, I don't want to do anything huge, I don't want everyone to know my name and I don't want to be in the newspapers, my face plastered on every corner.  No, I am not looking for fame or glory.  Instead of saving a corrupt community, i will do my best to be part of a kind, happy community.  I simply feel like helping others is my purpose in life.  I will be there for my friends and family.  Quite honestly, I would much rather be remembered forever and always by the people I care about than be famous to the entire world.  As long as I am remembered by my community as a good person, and not a hero, I will be happy.