Two Northwestern Middle School sixth-graders won top prizes in the West Springfield VFW Post 4965 Patriots Pen Youth Essay Contest.
Indra Wilson took first-place and was awarded $35 from Post 4965.
Kylie Krieder took second-place and was awarded $25.
Post 4965 President Tami Tripp and Principal Greg Lehman recognized Wilson and Krieder and presented them with certificates at a middle school assembly on Dec. 23.
The students’ essays are now sent on to the district level competition. If either student places, they move on to the state level competition. If they place at states, they then move on to the national level.
Prizes at the national level competition reach up to $5,000.
Last year, a Northwestern student placed at the district level.
“We want to thank the students for participating,” Tripp said. “We hope to have more essays submitted next year.”