Although the sweltering summer months are long gone, Notre Dame Academy student Carey Anne Dodd was thinking of next year's hot weather when she entered Famous Footwear's “Rock Your School” contest.
She recently was awarded the grand prize, which encouraged students to nominate their high schools for a grant to be used toward a transformation project. Miss Dodd won an individual prize of $24,168.50 from the contest, and Notre Dame Academy won $72,505.50.
“When I pondered what Notre Dame Academy could use their possible winnings for, all I kept thinking of was how blessed my school is. The only use for the money I could think of was for air conditioning,” Miss Dodd, a senior, said. She said a few parts of the school already have air conditioning, but other areas, such as the third floor, get toasty during the warmer months. “Air conditioning would make the learning environment more comfortable,” she said.
Will Smith, Famous Footwear’s senior vice president of retail marketing, said the contest was meant to inspire school pride.
“It unites the student body, their parents and faculty to help support their school. We hope to see hundreds of high schools across the country continue to enter each year and rally together in effort to score a big victory for their school,” he said.
Miss Dodd's entry was selected out of 50 finalists. Mr. Smith said Famous Footwear used the following criteria to determine the finalists: quality of photo, quality of essay, impact on high school, creativity and originality. After the finalists were selected, the contest was opened up for a public vote to determine the grand prize winner.
“This contest is a perfect example of how well those at the all-girls Catholic high school come together with high spirits and enthusiastically support one another,” Miss Dodd said. “I am appreciative for everyone who voted and helped spread the word.”
She said students will “definitely leap for joy,” when the new system is installed. When elaborating about writing the essay for the contest, she shared that it was a surprise to win because she entered the contest right before entries were due.