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Heath Third Grader Wins 'Dream Out Loud' Prize
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - Aaron Muñoz couldn't stop grinning Wednesday morning at Heath Elementary School.

Maybe it was because he only has two days of school left in third grade, but it was probably because he was recognized in front of the student body for winning money for college in the "Dream Out Loud" Challenge.

Principal Laine Cooper and David Lawhorn from the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust called Muñoz to the front of the school's 4th nine weeks awards celebration and presented him with a ceremonial check for $1,000. The award is actually a college savings account set up by the trust, which is the state's official 529 college savings plan.

The "Dream Out Loud" challenge invited students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade to submit an original poem, drawing, video or essay answering the question, "How will I change the world after college?" Muñoz wrote an essay explaining how his artistic endeavors will make an impact on the world.

In his essay, Muñoz said, "I want to be a role model, not only to all the kids that want to be artists and are told that it's not a career, but since I am Mexican-American, I want to encourage all races, and children from homes where their parents didn't graduate college, that you can do it. I want to show them that with hard work and determination you can make all of your dreams come true." 

Muñoz is one of eight students from across Kentucky whose families won the 2017 challenge. Over 1,100 students entered from 109 of the Commonwealth's 120 counties. 

The smiles continued as Heath Elementary School also received a prize for participating in the challenge. Muñoz helped Lawhorn present a $500 award to Mr. Cooper at the celebration. 


Here is Aaron Muñoz's essay:

After college I will...
By: Aaron Muñoz

After college I will be an artist. I enjoy art of all kinds, painitng, coloring, drawing, freestyling or copying a famous painitng. It makes me happy to see the colors, the shapes, and the story behind it, so I plan on leaving my mark in the world after I graduate from college. 

I wanted to attend the University of Kentucky after I graduated high school, but this year I decided to go big or go home, and I plan on applying, and hopefully attending, Columbia University in New York. I have never been to NYC, but I want to go soon. I google and youtube all the museums and galllerias, and art exhibits that are in the city. They look so cool. 

I want to make a big impact. I want to paint murals in parks, make funny videos to show kids how fun it is to be an artist and be able to capture a happy image on a canvas. I want my work to make somebody have a good day, after they have a bad one. I want to travel the world and paint it, and bring the world to people that might never get the chance to see it in real life. I want that when people see my work, they feel the same happy feeling and passion that I feel for my work. I want to be a role model, not only to all the kids that want to be an artists and are told that it's not a career, but since I am Mexican-American, I want to encourage all races, and children from homes where their parents didn't graduate college, that you can do it. I want to show them that with hard work, and determination, you can make all of your dreams come true. 

In concusion, how exactly can a Mexican-American kid make a differance in the world? I believe that I already am. I know Iam only 8 years old, and I am little and small to all the grown ups, but I work hard and I'm kind, and help any way that I can, I love and respect everyone, with different religion, race, or if you are a boy or a girl, what basketball team you root for, even though UK is the best. I believe that when I grow up, I might not move mountains, or mold them to be the next Mt. Rushmore,  but I hope to inspire kids to follow their dreams, just like my mom says "you are the future of the world" one day, I will be the future, and I like what I see.

Published 02:08 PM, Wednesday May. 17, 2017
Updated 05:48 PM, Wednesday May. 17, 2017

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