Bardelang recognized by Harkins Foundation

Writing is in her blood


Heidi Bardelang

Striking a pose! Eighth grader Danielle Bardelang sits with her award. She won a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card for winning second place for the essay contest.

Destiny Montgomery, Reporter

On April 15, Dr. Barbara Seniors Harkins Foundation awarded eighth grader, Danielle Bardelang, second place for the nationwide essay contest. Any student from the United States in grades six to eight was eligible to enter the sixth annual contest.

“Mr. Hatch sent out an email about the contest. I offered it to my classes for extra credit,” eighth grade English teacher Bron Clouser said.

According to Clouser, there were close to 60 entries from middle schools throughout the U.S.

The prompt was for the students to write a letter to any person they wanted. The person could be from the future, past or present. Bardelang decided to write to her future self.

“Mr. Clouser led me to being a good writer by walking me through my essays throughout the year,” Bardelang said.

“She [Bardelang] is an exceptional student with a drive that makes her unique. She is cool and collective in class and produces phenomenal work,” Clouser said.

Not only was I proud of the second place win, I was also very proud that she was true to herself. She had a message to be heard. She presented the way it felt best and right to her. I’m one proud momma,” D. Bardelang’s mother, Heidi Bardelang said.

“My mom won the same contest when she was in ninth grade. Her contest was only county wide. Mine was nationwide. She is also a published author so good writing is sort of in me already,” D. Bardelang said.

D. and H. Bardelang both cried tears of joy when they heard the good news.

“My mom got a voicemail. When she played it, she put it on speaker. As soon as it said I got second place, we both started crying. As soon as my mom collected herself she called the girl back and found out that i did definitely win, and they would be sending my award soon,” D. Bardelang said.

She won a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card.

D. Bardelang told herself in her essay not to dwell on the past.

She wrote in her story, “As cliche as it sounds, the present is a gift. Unwrap that gift by letting the past be the past.”