As with most elected leaders, a student council president wants to leave behind a legacy upon leaving office. In Caroline Dupree's case, she hopes to leave less, literally. The fifth-grader from Bossier City, La. received the grand prize in Olive Garden's 16th-annual Pasta Tales essay writing contest for her essay on recycling.
As the Pasta Tales grand prize winner, Dupree receives a $2,500 savings bond, a trip with her family to New York City and dinner at the Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square. In addition, Olive Garden will also be making a $5,000 donation to Dupree's school, WT Lewis Elementary School, to help bring her essay to life. Olive Garden also awarded winners in 12 grade categories. Each of the grade winners receives a $500 savings bond and a family dinner at his or her local Olive Garden:
Grade 1: Chandler Wambach, Utah
Grade 2: Aaron Weekley, Ohio
Grade 3: Carey McClelland, West Virginia
Grade 4: Isabella Hefty, Colorado
Grade 5: Noelle Shamlian, Maine
Grade 6: Angela Mammel, Michigan
Grade 7: Bryson Barrow, Arizona
Grade 8: Ariana Paulhamus, Pennsylvania
Grade 9: Jesus Sabiel Garcia, North Carolina
Grade 10: Amanda Horvath, Arizona
Grade 11: Ryan Lowery, Arkansas
Grade 12: Allison Good, Ohio
"This year's Pasta Tales contest challenged students not only to think about how they can affect the future of education in their community, but also to articulate how they can turn their idea into reality," said John Caron, Olive Garden's president. "Every year we are impressed by how creative, passionate and ambitious our students are. We congratulate everyone who participated in this year's Pasta Tales."