Student awarded for essay work

Andrew Cordes, a seventh grader at St. Lawrence School in Shelton was given with an award, receiving an honorable mention for his speech in the National Modern Woodmen School Speech Contest.

In 1948, Modern Woodmen of America developed this contest to offer students an opportunity to develop skills in clear thinking and public speaking. The topic for this year's speech was: "A Time When Volunteers Made a Difference."

Andrew began his oratorical journey back in winter of 2012 when he decided to give a speech about the Make a Wish Foundation for the St. Lawrence School speech contest. Andrew spoke of the work and origins of this group and how they grant wishes to children suffering from life-threatening conditions.

The Make a Wish Foundation holds a special place in Andrew's heart as he personally knows of the group. When he was four years old, Andrew was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma. This is a rare form of cancer that affects the soft tissues of the body. During Andrew's treatment, the Make a Wish Foundation granted Andrew his wish: to throw a pie in his brother's face. In addition, the Make a Wish Foundation sent Andrew and his family to Disney World. Andrew and his family truly appreciated the help and assistance from those volunteers during a very difficult time in their lives. After six months of treatment, Andrew beat his illness and remains cancer free today.