One pupil envisions a woman as president.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
KAIA HUTCHINS' DREAM FOR THE CITY is that it will someday have a beautiful downtown, improved schools and jobs for people.
One hundred years from now, residents of the city will determine if her dream came true.
Hutchins, a senior at The Rayen School in Youngstown, is one of six pupils whose essays about the city's future were placed in a time capsule Wednesday in the cornerstone of the Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse on Commerce Street.
A ceremony in honor of essayists was presided over by Judge Jones, a Youngstown native, who served on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Of course, none of us can predict the future, but we all have the ability to dream and hope and that is what this ceremony is about," said Judge Jones. "That is what our celebration of these young people is about -- dreams and hopes for the future.
"Their words should inspire all of us to look to the future with great hope and happiness."
More than 300 pupils in the Youngstown district submitted essays about their lives today and what the future will bring. The six placed in the time capsule were winners of a contest sponsored by the school district, the U.S. General Services Administration and The Vindicator.
Besides Hutchins, winners are Joseph Clark III, also a senior at The Rayen School; Cara Diana and Jennifer Illes, both eighth-graders at Volney Rogers Junior High; and fourth-graders DeWaylan Letlow of North Elementary and Tiffany Vasko of Kirkmere Elementary.
"It's something historical, to be part of an event in a hundred years," Joseph said. "It will be something my family that comes after me will be able to see and know I was a part of this event."
"We're a part of something," added Cara. "They're going to know who we are even after we're gone."
Cara said the most important part of her essay is "that a girl can be president, or an African- American girl ... because there's never been one before."
Does Cara have hopes that she'll break that presidential barrier? "Maybe," she said.
Jennifer said she wants to be a kindergarten teacher. As for DeWaylan, he hopes to be a mayor or a basketball player. Tiffany has her sights set on being a lawyer.
Joseph wants to go into sports medicine as he starts at The Ohio State University in the fall, Akaia will study pharmacy when she attends Youngstown State University.
The essay winners were given awards and $100 U.S. Savings Bonds from an anonymous donor. The items were presented by Superintendent Benjamin L. McGee, assistant Superintendent Wendy Webb and Judith Hatchner, director of instruction. Also making remarks were City Councilman Artis Gillam Sr., D-1st, Youngstown Mayor George M. McKelvey and John Bolovan, supervising property manager for the U.S. General Services Administration.
Councilman Mark S. Memmer, D-7th, presented a council proclamation in honor of the pupils.
"We can all agree that Youngstown has a great history and there should be no doubt that Youngstown will have a great future," he said. "I encourage you to make a difference. ... Be a part of the solution. ... Youngstown's future is in our hands today."