Darci Kilpatrick pens first place in Optimist Club contest

MADISON – Darci Kilpatrick entered the Madison Optimist Club’s Essay Contest without any expectations. In fact, the essay was required work for all students in a writing class at Bob Jones High School.

Darci, a 15-year-old freshman at Bob Jones, is enrolled in Brandy Panagos’ creative writing course this semester.

“Everyone in the class received the assignment to write and submit written works to the Optimist contest, but Darci is the only student in her class to win a prize,” Charity Stratton said. Stratton serves as Publicist for the Madison Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stratton and Darci are members of LDS.

“Darci never expected to walk away with first place and a check for $300. But that is exactly what happened,” Stratton said.

Darci’s winning essay focused on her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. “My essay was about my mom and about how, even when she was going through her cancer treatments, she was still super optimistic and how that optimism brought out the optimism in me,” Darci said.

In other honors, Darci was recognized as a Fiction Finalist, along with earning third place for her poem, in Alabama Writers Forum’s contest. The forum was founded in 1993 to honor the state’s literary heritage and to support its ongoing literary culture.

“For a few years, Darci has wanted to do something with writing in her future, although she doesn’t know just what that will look like yet,” Stratton said.

“Darci socializes a lot, but mostly with her family, going on walks and doing things together. She claims she is ‘boring outside of school,’” Stratton said. Darci’s ‘hobbies’ actually are self-improvement exercises, planning for her future and preparing for college.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she attends an early morning seminary class with other teens before her school day starts. The class meets at 6:30 a.m. on Monday through Friday to study the New Testament and life of Jesus Christ.

Darci is saving most of her prize money for her college fund. However, she is looking forward to spending a little bit for something fun.

For more information about Madison Optimist Club, call 256-461-8787.

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