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Eighth-grader wins $650 scholarship in statewide essay contest
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Rachel Glazer, an eighth-grader from North Hall Middle School, will be honored today at a banquet at the Georgia District Optimist Conference in Macon.

Glazer won first place in the state essay competition for her piece on the topic "Today’s Choices Effect My Future." Glazer won a $650 scholarship, and her essay will now be judged at the international level, in which the final winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship and a trip to the international convention in Grapevine, Texas, in July to accept the award.

"I’ve been writing since about sixth or seventh grade," Glazer said. She was encouraged by her mother, Teressa Glazer, to participate in the competition.

Glazer said that she had hopes that she would win.

"I like to think I’m a good writer," she said.

After winning, Glazer was very excited.

"This rocks!" was her reaction, she said.

In Glazer’s essay titled "Life is a Hallway," she illustrates some of the different choices she will have to make in her life by walking down a hallway and seeing doors with words such as "Valedictorian," "Petty Thief," "Teenage Drinking" and "College Degree" written upon them.

In her essay, Glazer writes: "With each choice of my waking life I listen closely for the sound of a door shutting in the future. I think about which doors to keep open and which to nail shut. Life is not quite as simple as a hallway of doors, but then again, it is not that much more complicated either."

"She has the fire in her belly to write," Teressa Glazer said about her daughter’s love for writing, which actually stemmed from her enjoyment of reading. "She gets grouchy if doesn’t write everyday."

Teressa Glazer said she was astounded when she found out that Rachel won first place.

"Like a lot of parents, I underestimate my children because the competition went up to age 19, so I never thought that my 13-year-old would win," she said.

As for the future, Rachel Glazer said that she "wants to be everything when I grow up."