The Board of Supervisors recognized Sandhya Gentius-Harris, a fifth-grade student at J.B. Watkins Elementary School, as the grand-prize winner of the annual essay contest...

The Board of Supervisors recognized Sandhya Gentius-Harris, a fifth-grade student at J.B. Watkins Elementary School, as the grand-prize winner of the annual essay contest for Older Americans Month at the board’s meeting April 26.

Pictured from left to right are:  Ethan Minter, Maddie Cross, Kychaun Goode, Alyssa Williams, Sandhya Gentius-Harris, Natalie Sanner, Marjorie Rawlings, Kendall Rodriguez, R’Mia Crutchfield and Virginia Collins.

The contest, which gives students in grades 4-5 the opportunity to acknowledge older adults who have had positive impacts on their lives, was open to all Chesterfield County Public School students. Essays came from 235 students at nine elementary schools.

Sandhya Gentius-Harris wrote about her grandfather, who grew up deaf but didn’t let that stop him from his dreams and career.

“He taught himself how to build all sorts of things and he built houses, apartments, and government buildings all over St. Croix,” wrote Sandhya. “He has inspired me to work hard and never give up, no matter how difficult something might be. Sandhya received a copy of the resolution and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

The top essays from other participating schools were written by: Marjorie Rawlings, Bettie Weaver Elementary; R’Mia Crutchfield, C. C. Wells Elementary; Maddie Cross, Crestwood Elementary; Kychaun Goode, Ettrick Elementary; Ethan Minter, Harrowgate Elementary; Kaendall Rodriguez, Matoaca Elementary; Virginia Collins, Swift Creek Elementary; Natalie Sanner, Watkins Elementary; Alyssa Williams, Winterpock Elementary.