Airman wins Constitution Day essay contest

  • Published
  • By 1Lt Kinder L. Blacke
  • 552d Air Control Wing Public Affairs
"Should the Electoral College be abolished?" That is the question that Airman First Class Taj V. Preciado, 552nd Air Control Networks Squadron, answered in a 250-word essay to win a two thousand dollar scholarship from Park University.

Park University sponsored the essay contest as part of its celebration of "Constitution Day," which commemorates the day the United States Constitution was signed, September 17, 1787.

According to the Park University website, the US Congress passed a bill requiring federally funded schools and colleges to hold an educational program each year to pay tribute to the US Constitution.

The essay contest was open to all current Park University undergraduate students and the essays had to address the question, "should the Electoral College be abolished?" in 250 words or less.

Airman Preciado, an AWACS Software Test Analyst and an undergraduate student at Park University, decided to accept the challenge.

"I entered the contest to win money for books and other fees not covered by Tuition Assistance," he said. "And politics is one of my big interests so I really enjoyed formulating the essay."

His essay in its entirety is posted on the Park University website, but concluded with the statement: "In theory, abolishing the Electoral College is a noble idea because it would give equal voice to every person in America. In practice, however, it would amplify the role of special interests and thus negate its very purpose."

The essays were judged by a panel of distinguished scholars and public officials, and Airman Preciado's earned the top prize.

"I found out that I won at a squadron hall call," said Airman Preciado, who will put the grand prize of two-thousand dollars towards finishing the second half of his Computer Science degree.

"Winning the scholarship has provided him more drive and determination to complete his degree and possibly go on to Officer Training School," said Senior Master Sgt. James J. Griffin, squadron superintendent, 552 ACNS.

"He was quiet and reserved about winning," said Chief Master Sergeant Ray G. Anderson, 552nd Air Control Group.

"Watching him on the day the representatives from Park University came out to notify him made me think that this young Airman didn't do it for the money or the recognition. Rather, he did it because he had something to say, or he felt a certain way about the subject. To me, that was impressive," Chief Anderson said.

Sergeant Griffin added, "he's the kind of Airman that gives one hundred percent to anything he does. If you give him a task, you can be sure that it will be completed."