St. Helens elementary schooler picked as state winner in annual contest

by: COURTESY PHOTO - St. Helens Mayor Randy Peterson (far left) presents certificates to (left to right) Emma Phillips, Anabelle Robitz, Nathan Don, Nicholas Troiano and Trinyty Farmer-Howard for their participation in the 'If I Were Mayor' contest at the May 2 city council session.If St. Helens elementary school student Trinyty Farmer-Howard was mayor she would do her best to improve residents' physical fitness, education and promote local business.

Her goals, drawn on poster board, helped Farmer-Howard win her division in the state's "If I Were Mayor" contest. Farmer-Howard first won the local St. Helens City Council contest - winning an e-reader in May - before being picked as the state winner in the elementary school division.

Now the young girl has been invited to attend the Oregon Mayors Association summer conference in Florence, Ore. to pick up her ultimate reward: a new laptop.

The annual competition is run as a partnership of the mayors association and Oregon Afterschool for Kids.

Students like Farmer-Howard were asked to share what after-school activities and other programs they would create if they were mayor of their town. Elementary school students make posters, middle schoolers write essays or make videos, and high school students complete a video project.

St. Helens received eleven entries. The city's middle school winner was Athena Duggan who wrote an essay about the need to focus on forming a youth committee, foster community involvement and creating recreation facilities. The high school winner was Nicholas Troiano, who said older students should act as mentors to young students.

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