Little Cypress Junior High and Mauriceville Middle School students, Kaylee Kaufman and Andrea Howard, have been chosen as top 15 finalists in the Better Business Bureau’s “Laws of Life” essay contest.

Better Business Bureau in Southeast Texas will hold its third Annual “Laws of Life” Awards Banquet on April 17, at The Event Centre in historic downtown Beaumont. The event will honor Kaylee, Andrea, and others who submitted award-winning essays in the BBB Consumer Education Foundation’s educational initiative, “Laws of Life”, an ethics and character-based essay contest.

Over 4,500 area young people participated in this regional contest, which is open to all sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in Southeast Texas. A judging panel made up of Southeast Texas business leaders read essays and chose 15 finalists. Kaylee and Andrea are two of these finalists. They will be recognized, along with the teachers who encouraged them to participate in this meaningful program.  School campuses with highest participation will also be awarded. Winners will receive cash and other prizes, starting at $50 and going up to $200.

The BBB launched the “Laws of Life” program as a means of promoting character development for southeast Texas youth. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for young people to reflect on and write about the guiding principles in which they should strive to live. Although students choose their own personal “law of life” to write about, forgiveness, compassion, bravery, and faith are some of the topics students focus on.

The contest requires students to think deeply about what their personal “laws of life” really are and what values mean the most to them.  It encourages schools, communities and teachers to have soul-searching discussions with their young people to help them reflect on their choices and what principles would make life better. It prompts teachers to better understand their students, and helps communities learn what young people struggle with while providing support to help them overcome these struggles.