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Linnea Meyer wins annual Shepherd Common Reading essay contest

ISSUED: 9 May 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A nursing major from Harpers Ferry is the winner of the 2016-2017 Shepherd University Common Reading essay contest. Linnea Meyer’s essay, “Ordinary Heroes,” explores the theme in this year’s Common Reading book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson of stone catching, which is the willingness to do something about the problems and sorrows of others.

“I agree with his general philosophy for helping people and I especially agreed with the stone catcher idea he presented,” Meyer said. “I felt like a lot of times people are willing to walk around complaining about the world but not really willing to do what they can to fix it in the little ways that they can.”

Meyer’s essay reflects on how three generations of women in her own family—her grandmother, her mother, and herself—have taken on the role of stone catchers.

“I wrote about my grandmother who wanted to be a nurse and actually gave that up to take care of her family instead,” Meyer said. “She made a wonderful mom and a wonderful wife and took care of my granddad when he was passing due to lung cancer.

“I talked about my mom,” Meyer continued. “She has a bachelor’s degree in music therapy and she’s done a lot with that degree working in mental hospitals, but also now she’s teaching in a school and she can use some of the psychological things she knows to help people in everyday life. Then I wrote about me, and my dream to be a medical missionary. That’s a big goal, but I’m trying to start out with just helping people every time I see a chance.”

Meyer was awarded a $350 prize that she will use toward purchasing textbooks in the fall.

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