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Equality equals success

BY TAMARA BELKOV A writing contest designed to promote literacy asked young writers across the country to finish the sentence "Life would be easy if…" When Grade 7 student, Eleisha Dembek, from St.
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Eleisha Dembek, a Grade 7 student at St. Francis School, is Sudbury's regional winner of a national writing contest sponsored by Staples.

BY TAMARA BELKOV

A writing contest designed to promote literacy asked young writers across the country to finish the sentence "Life would be easy if…"

When Grade 7 student, Eleisha Dembek, from St. Francis School, took up the challenge it sounded like this.

"Life would be easy if everyone got along. If height, weight, and what you wear didn't matter.

No one would be cool or popular. Everyone would have a chance to fit in, and no one would be excluded. Different styles would be applauded, and being unique wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. No one group would decide what is 'in.' Everyone would be accepted for who they are. Friends would become abundant, smiles would be seen, and laughter heard more often. School would be a joyful place, and eventually hatred would diminish. Life would sure be easy!"

Dembek's thoughts on equality made her the 2006 winner for the Sudbury region.  The contest was sponsored by Staples Business Depot.

Her teacher, Peter Niro, was surprised to learn his student had entered in the national contest but wasn't surprised she won.

"She deserves this," Niro says. "Eleisha really is a good student and she works hard at whatever she does."

Dembek took home a $50 gift card for herself while her school will receive a portion of the proceeds from a booklet filled with the winning stories written by youth across the country. The story booklet sells for $2.99 and contains 154 short compositions. It is available at all Staples outlets and 100 copies will be given to St. Francis School to sell.

Joel Del Rosario, manager at Staples on Notre Dame, says the response to the annual writing contest keeps growing. Del Rosario says he received close to 500 stories from area children alone. "This is our fifth year and we typically sell out (the booklet) by fall."

This is not the first time Dembek's artistic efforts have been recognized. Three years ago she was regional and zone winner in a poster and essay contest held by the Royal Canadian Legion.

When she was only 11 years old, her talents resulted in her winning $10,000 in a design competition sponsored by a tissue manufacturer.


Her proud parents say the 13-year-old puts a lot of effort into everything she does.

"She is always keeps herself busy," says Sheeila Dembek, her mother. "Eleisha is always writing and drawing. She plays saxophone and guitar. We are not surprised at her accomplishments. "

Dembek dreams of a career in rock music.