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DAR Good Citizens awards: Ashley Hutson

March 06, 2001

DAR Good Citizens awards: Ashley Hutson



By ELIZABETH SUH


Clear Spring High School senior Ashley Anne Hutson, 17, possesses an instantly disarming voice.

The warmth and character that surely helped her earn this year's Good Citizen Award shine through as she shares her ideas on good citizenship.

For her essay entry, Ashley, the daughter of James and Susan Hutson, says she focused on our basic rights as citizens in a democracy, such as freedom of speech and our basic duties, such as keeping in contact with our government.

Ashley's personal obstacles have shaped her civic views. As a child, she underwent extensive surgery on her legs and wore a brace for two years until her sophomore year in high school.

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She feels like the challenges she faced early in life helped her develop a spirit of empathy. This is reflected in her idea of a dutiful citizen as one who is respectful to all people, regardless of differences.

"By keeping an open mind, we learn more for ourselves, while helping others, she says."

On a larger scale, Ashley finds America's duty as a nation to be similarly compassionate - to help other countries in need without dominating the global scene.

Patriotism also takes on a personal significance. Ashley's father is a Vietnam veteran and her grandfather was a veteran of World War II, and she was raised to respect and honor those fighting on behalf of our country.

Among the four qualities of good character emphasized by the DAR society, Ashley thinks her strongest is dependability.

She demonstrates this quality in her commitment to her school's National Honor Society, student council, history club and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) as scrapbook illustrator.

Ashley plans to attend Hagerstown Community College for two years, transfer to Shepherd College to major in English, and become a librarian. Not surprisingly, she enjoys reading - all kinds of fiction. Some of her favorites are philosophy and the classics; right now she's on her second reading through the "Silence of the Lambs" trilogy after having recently enjoyed the movie "Hannibal."

Elizabeth Suh is a senior at North Hagerstown High School.

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