By Amanda Hatfield
TITUSVILLE -- A 10-year-old is currently reaping the rewards of hard work, talent and determination.
James Ward, a fifth-grade student at St. Teresa's School in Titusville, wrote an essay for the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest for 2013. This year's topic was "Forgotten Patriots who supported the American Struggle for Independence."
"Students were to research and write an essay of 300-600 words," said Karen Hartos, a fifth- and sixth-grade language arts teacher at St. Teresa's School. "The topic was to focus on the often unrecognized people and groups who provided support."
James' thesis for the essay focused on Native American women and their efforts to help the American Patriots triumph over the British Loyalists and troops. He also focused on why it was important to honor and recognize these humble helpers.
"I assigned the essay once I received the topic and rules from Carol Koller of the Indian River DAR Chapter," Mrs. Hartos said. "The information on the essay was provided to both public and private schools."
On Feb. 19, James was recognized by the Indian River DAR chapter for his masterfully crafted essay. He received a certificate, bronze medal and $25 cash prize.
Following his success at the local level, James received a silver medal from the state Daughters of the American Revolution conference in Orlando on March 16, in which he also received $250.
On April 1, the young writer's essay surpassed students from the Southeastern Division of the DAR, launching James to the national level of the competition.
"We should find out in early June about how James fairs amongst other students in the nation," Mrs. Hartos added.
While James continues to work his way up in the literary competition, the young man remains as cool as a cucumber and exceptionally humble.
"When I found out (about my success), I was so happy and I got to call my family and tell them," James said. "They were very happy for me. I feel so happy that I won. I would say to someone who lost, 'Good job' and 'You did very well.'"
As James awaits news of his essay's standing, he fills his time playing with his dog, "Rosco," reading, playing video games and, of course, writing stories.