Local student named finalist in national essay contest

Olivia Rapert, a local middle school student, has been named a finalist in the national essay contest for the National League of Junior Cotillions.  

Olivia, a daughter of state Sen. Jason and Laurie Rapert, is a first year student in the Faulkner County Chapter of the National League of Junior Cotillions.

The NLJC holds the annual “What Junior Cotillion Means to Me” Essay Contest with a grand prize of a $500 educational scholarship to the essay winner. A plaque and certificate are also presented to four finalists. Olivia was chosen as one of the four finalists across the nation. More than 1,500 essays were submitted.

“We are very proud to have such an outstanding young lady as one of our students,” said Susan and Patrick Humphries, directors of the local chapter. “Olivia is a poised, intelligent and diligent participant in our program. She is taking the skills taught in these classes and making them a part of her everyday life.”

According to Olivia’s essay, she has enjoyed her Cotillion experience and “looks forward to using the skills that I have learned throughout my years. I think Cotillion is a great way to show kids all over the country how to present themselves to others with confidence.”

"The skills that we teach these children promote respect, self-confidence and strong self-esteem, enabling them to deal with the issues facing adolescents today. This encourages the social behavior and character necessary to gain the edge in future experiences, such as college entrance, business experiences and other life opportunities," said Susan. “Olivia has taken the skills taught in this program and used them to develop character to achieve personal goals and to set high standards for personal behavior. She exemplifies the NLJC mission statement – learning to act and to treat others with honor, dignity and respect.”    

The National League of Junior Cotillions is an etiquette and social dance training program that involves thousands of students nationwide. The local program is offered to any interested sixth to eighth grade boy or girl in Faulkner County.  

For more information, contact Susan Humphries at [email protected] or visit nljc.com/chapter/faulknercounty.