When it comes to many rights enjoyed by Americans, the freedom to worship is one that Lawrence “Spell” Carr cherishes.
The Clinton High School senior penned those feelings in an essay which resulted in earning the top spot in a statewide competition. Spell was the state winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens award. The essay question asked nominees to select one freedom they would celebrate and the reason for doing so. He mentioned religious persecution from terrorist groups in foreign countries.
“A lot of people take very small things for granted and religion is not a small thing,” Carr said. “Most people go to church on Sundays, go out to eat afterwards and sometimes go back to church Sunday night. That’s just a daily or weekly routine that we go through, while other people overseas are dying primarily because they’re worshiping the way they want to. I think it’s extremely important to understand how lucky we are to be able to worship freely in America.”
The award was given to Spell during the North Carolina Society Daughters of the American Revolution conference in Durham last month. It was created in 1934 and is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. During the process, Spell had two hours to write the essay before it was sent to DAR, a nonprofit and non-political woman’s service organization dedicated to patriotism and preserving American history making the country better for future youths.
“I learned a lot from the organization,” Spell said about participating and preparing for regional competition, which hopefully leads to nationals.
College Advisor/Scholars Coordinator Toni Blount, teachers and staff members were asked to nominate a senior who demonstrated the traits of outstanding citizenship in school and throughout the community. Selected students were placed on a ballot and the senior class picked Spell. Next, he won the regional, district and state DAR award. He also received $2,000 for being at the top.
“Spell demonstrates the trait of responsibility, patriotism, leadership, and community service and represent the young people of America as an outstanding ‘Good Citizen,’” stated Blount.
According to school officials, Spell ranks in the top of his class and takes rigorous classes. He also serves as the student body vice president and has been a Student Government ambassador since the ninth grade. Some of the other groups Spell is involved with include the Key Club, Beta Club and Boy Scouts, where he became an Eagle Scout — the highest honor in the organization. In addition to juggling academics and clubs, Spell competes in soccer and coaches younger players and referees for the Clinton Soccer Club.
“I find that the less I have to do, the less productive I am,” Spell said about staying busy.
After graduation, Spell will attend Hampden-Sydney College to study medicine and play soccer. When it comes to his work throughout high school, Principal Dr. Steven Miller added that Spell is a “tremendous young student scholar-athlete.”
“His essay, based on the theme of freedom of religion, is wonderfully written and thought provoking,” Miller said. “I hope his essay continues to be recognized as he competes at the upper levels of the Daughters of the American Revolution.”
Dr. Stuart Blount, superintendent of Clinton City Schools, also applauded the student for his accomplishments, involvement in many school organizations, athletic teams and success in the classroom.
“Being selected as the state winner of the DAR essay is a tremendous accomplishment,” Blount said. “We are so proud of him. Spell Carr is a shining example of what is right with public education in North Carolina.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.