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Listen to a Life Contest
Legacy Project
ANNOUNCING 2013-2014 WINNERS
OF THE LISTEN TO A LIFE ESSAY CONTEST

Listen to a Life Contest Prizes

Lenovo



The Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z All-In-One computer integrates the monitor with the central unit, resulting in a smaller PC footprint and less cable clutter. It packs the full performance of a traditional desktop into a slick 23-inch display. The ThinkCentre M92z comes with an Intel® Core processor, Windows 7, minimum 2 GB memory, minimum 320 GB harddrive, and a DVD-CD combo drive. Lenovo also offers a variety of other quality notebook and desktop computer systems. Special pricing is available for schools. For more info, visit www.lenovo.com/education

Expressions of Time

Expressions of Time offers a vast selection of home decor clocks,
gift and collectable clocks, Howard Miller furnishings and curio display cabinets. They also offer a wide range of home accessories, including lamps, mirrors, wall décor and accent furniture. For complete product selection, visit www.clockshoppes.com

Frame USA

Frame USA is a one-stop website that offers a wide variety of ready-made picture frames – wood, metal, plastic, shadowboxes, do-it-yourself frame kits, scrapbook frames, certificate frames, and more. For complete product selection, visit www.frameusa.com

Dream by Susan V. Bosak

Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes by Susan V. Bosak has won 11 national awards including an International Reading Association Children's Choice, a Teachers' Choice, and the Pinnacle Award for Best Gift Book. The Listen to a Life Contest theme of time and dreams across a lifetime is inspired by this bestseller. 15 top illustrators each offer a gorgeously illustrated page in a poetic, multilayered story about life's hopes and dreams. A great book to share in the classroom – from elementary to high school – Dream is also a popular milestone gift book for children, teens, and adults. Find out more about Dream

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Message from Educator and Legacy Project
Lead Creator Susan V. Bosak


Legacy Project Chair Susan V. Bosak

I've been helping judge the Listen to a Life Contest for fourteen years. Each Spring I look forward to the entries for different reasons. Sometimes I look forward to simply immersing myself in the real human stories of real people. Sometimes I'm looking for inspiration or insight. This year, I'm looking for comfort. Last week our family sage, Leo Puppa, passed away. Leo was a retired teacher who never quite retired – because he kept sharing his life wisdom with his children and grandchildren.

When I came to an entry by Christopher Chapman, 18, of Fayetteville, NC, I immediately thought of Leo. Christopher interviewed his grandmother Marcia Wethli, 67, and they talked about the recent death of a close family friend. The obituary listed the birth and death dates 11/04/1945-12/26/2013. Christopher's grandmother asked him if he knew the importance of the dash. Then she shared a poem that in part reads, "It was the dash between the dates/Placed there it stood for time./All at once it dawned on me/How important that little line./The dates placed there belonged to God/But that line is yours and mine." I found my comfort. Such an appropriate reminder, especially given that the Listen to a Life Contest is so much about how each of us chooses to spend our life-time. Thank you Christopher and Marcia.

And a thank you to every young person, grandparent, and grandfriend who entered the contest. Every entry is important to us, and we respect the time – and effort – you put in to making an entry happen. While I wish we had the resources to provide personal feedback on each entry, know that we appreciate every single word you write and every part of yourself you share.

This contest changes lives. It changes my life every year. It changes the lives of those just starting their life journey, and the lives of those who have been on the journey for many years. We can learn many things when we listen, and we all appreciate it when someone truly listens to us. Maybe your entry isn't in the list of "official winners." But every single person, younger and older, wins something with this contest.

We received thousands of entries from coast to coast. For the Legacy Project's annual Listen to a Life Contest, a young person 8-18 years interviews an older adult 50 years or over about their life experiences – their dreams and goals, obstacles they overcame, pivotal moments, how they found hope – and submits a 300-word essay.

Our youngest entrant this year was 9 years old, our oldest 98 years old. Generations learning from each other, learning with each other. And you know what? I believe this kind of meaningful intergenerational engagement can change the world. That's why the Legacy Project is launching a new global intergenerational initiative called YOU 177. It's all up to YOU – Young and Old United.

But back to this year's Listen to a Life Contest. We have some wonderful people to thank – because without them this contest wouldn't be possible. First, a warm thank you to the teachers and parents who encourage and support young people in entering this contest. A grateful thank you to our long-time partner Generations United in Washington, DC, who helps get the word out to young and old, and organizations big and small, across the country. And a HUGE appreciative thank you to our corporate sponsors who provide such great prizes. Lenovo has been with us from the start, providing a ThinkCentre computer as the Grand Prize. Frame USA gives us beautiful frames for the award certificates featuring each winning essay. And Expressions of Time provides a beautiful keepsake timepiece for all our winners.

The last thank you, with a BIG smiley face (in keeping with the happy and sad faces he scribbles on entries as he's judging them, along with stars and asterisks, and red, blue, and yellow pen colors) goes to our lead judge Jim Barry. Every year for more than I can count now, he meticulously and respectfully goes over each entry, using both his head and his heart. The judging process is as thorough as it is in large measure because of his efforts. He will always have both my appreciation and admiration.

The next Listen to a Life Contest starts on National Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 7, 2014. In the meantime, click below to find out this year's Grand Prize Timeless Award winner and the ten national runner-up Legacy Award winners. The Legacy Award winners are presented in no particular order, other than an interesting sequence. Enjoy the stories – and keep watching the Legacy Project website to find out how YOU can help change the world!

With warm wishes,

Susan V. Bosak
for the Legacy Project team


Read the 2013-2014 Listen to a Life Contest Winners

Find out How to Enter the next contest

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