Image above shot by Jeff Stephen at Grand Teton National Park (String Lake)
Everett Source has been searching for a story about any youth in Snohomish County (preferably at elementary school level) that may have done something exciting on a national level. It turns out that Jason Roy Maki, of Marysville happened to place 2nd place nationally in a nationwide essay contest with the National Parks. The contest invited kids from across the country to write an essay of why the national parks are special. It turns out that Jason and his family had spent a considerable amount of time in Wyoming and Montana visiting family and while they were at it, they spent a lot of time in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Jason took a strong liking to the Tetons and so he chose the park to be the subject of his essay. Although he entered the contest for fun, he never dreamed he’d place 2nd and receive a 500 dollar cash prize as well as pass to all of the national parks and recreation areas in the US. The prize was provided by a non-governmental entity, the National Park Foundation which is a private organization dedicated to the preservation and the care of the national parks of the United States.
As the youth states in his essay, “I’ve seen an eagle and an osprey fighting over a fish.I’ve seen a little baby moose with its mother at the edge of the Snake River. I’ve seen a pair of grizzly cubs wandering out in the middle of a green meadow with their mother close by. And I’ve even seen a rare black wolf running across a snow field. But not all things are exactly what I’d call peaceful. I’ve watched a huge bison lit up against the night sky when lightning struck the mountains. I went swimming with my cousins and came out of a beautiful lake covered in leeches! Ahhhhh! I even was surprised by a black bear 10 feet away when I walked around a pickup truck! Even though I’ve had a few scary experiences, it should never stop you from visiting a national park”
Its been a couple years since Jason won his contest and he said it definitelyhas helped him with his confidence in his writing, but also in just going for it when you might otherwise choose to sit things out. If you know of any outstanding youth in Everett, Snohomish, Marysville, or anywhere in Snohomish County — please email our staff at email@example.com.