East Broadway Elementary School fourth-grader Maya Stavrinos made quite the impression on her fellow peers as she was officially recognized as the 2017-2018 New York State winner of Bonnie Plants' third-grade Cabbage Program contest on March 27. Teacher Rob Galino introduced the program to third-graders at East Broadway about four years ago, allowing all students to receive their own free cabbage plant to grow throughout the spring and summer months.
With the help of her grandfather, Maya carefully took care of her cabbage plant and watched it continue to grow. The cabbage grew so large that she decided to enter it in the program's $1,000 scholarship contest where she was crowned the winner in New York State. The $1,000 scholarship is granted to one student in each participating state. Student's enter a photo of their mega-size cabbage in a statewide drawing and are randomly selected by the Commission of Agriculture.
East Broadway hosted an assembly to congratulate Maya and share the exciting news with third- and fourth-graders at the school. A representative from Bonnie Plants presented her with a large $1,000 check, a certificate, award plaque and two books. Maya's parents, Nick and Juarline Stavrinos, proudly watched as their daughter was recognized.
Maya shared that she used miracle grow and did research online on how to properly care for the plant which helped it reach its large size. Principal Jeanmarie Wink invited Maya to walk around during the assembly and show the photo of her winning cabbage. Students viewed the photo in amazement and cheered her on. Mrs. Wink encouraged the students to always try their best and to enter contests when they have the opportunity. Winning the contest gave Maya the drive to enter more contests in the future.
"I now know that it's possible to win," she said.
The assembly allowed the fourth-graders to celebrate their classmate and inspired the third-graders to try their best like Maya, to care for their own cabbage plants. All third-graders received a cabbage plant to take home at the conclusion of the assembly.
"I hope that today's assembly showed students that you really have to be in it to win it and you just never know," said Mrs. Wink. "Today, Maya won $1,000 for her hard work but sometimes just knowing that you entered and you did your very best is all the reward that you need."