2020 Scholarship Program Winners

2020 Scholarship Winners

Peters of Nashua would like to announce our 7th Annual ”Peters of Nashua Scholarship Contest” winners. The contest was open to all graduating high school seniors living in New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. To enter, students sent in a  500 word, typed essay using the following topic:

“If you had to live in another period of time in the past, when would it be and why?”

We would like to congratulate our 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners!

1st Prize          $2,000 Scholarship
2nd Prize         $1,500 Scholarship
3rd Prize          $1,000 Scholarship

Henri Boudreau – First Place Winner

If you had to live in another period of time in the past, when would it be and why?

If I was ever given the slightest opportunity to live in a different era in history, I would drop everything instantly and pack it up for Ancient Greece. To be in a world that’s so interconnected, so productive, and pivotal in history would be a dream for me.

Growing up in New Hampshire, I’ve always been a die-hard fan for the Sox. It’s the team I grew up watching with my parents, who watched it with their parents, and so on down the line. We’ve watched it for so many years here that it’s inevitably a part of our identity as New Englanders, almost to the point where we’d take it for granted. If we look back though, when did this all start? While it may not have been baseball itself, but the sport-culture we live in was born out of Ancient Greece itself, and they were the ones who hosted the first Olympic Games. Going to these first races themselves in Olympia would be breathtaking, because it would be nothing like nothing ever to happen. I’d be surrounded by my brothers, sisters, and neighbors and we’d all have our eyes up (and nowhere even near a cell phone) to laugh, cheer, and scream over the same game together. It’s unifying, and something that everyone in the time appreciated so much more than today because it was so new and exciting.

Think about going to school in that time period, too. The academies of their society were way ahead of their time, and children everywhere could learn about the music, art, literature, science, math, and politics of the time. Not only were they living in the first effective democracy the world has ever seen, but the scientists around them in society were cranking out inventions from the water wheel to the alarm clock. This was also the era when Plato mapped out his picture for a perfect society in the Republic, and Homer cranked out The Iliad and The Odyssey. It’s one thing to study these great achievements historically in school like we do today, but to live and learn from these groundbreaking developments while they happen would be cool beyond words.

What made this point in history so great wasn’t their technological advancements, wasn’t their philosophical breakthroughs, and wasn’t even anything you can hold… it was the mindset of the people. Aristotle’s notion of civic virtue is nothing more than the idea that in order for a society to function, people must sometimes be willing to sacrifice their own personal desires for the betterment of the group. It explains all of their young men fought as soldiers, why their people voted collectively for leaders, and why their society functioned so beautifully. I do truly believe that if people in our day and age acted in a way that’s this unselfish that we’d have a much better world. People wouldn’t be so unequal, so quick to take advantage of each other, and everyone would be able to achieve more together.

Karishma Manchanda – Second Place Winner

If you had to live in another period of time in the past, when would it be and why?

The shift to rational thought during the Renaissance sparked a period of growth and enlightenment, whose ripple effect can be felt to this day. Because of the diffusion of ideas and the bridge from the Old World to the New World, I would choose to live during the Renaissance. There were great advancements in every field; from the liberal arts to the sciences, and from culture to trade, the exchange of ideas and information set up a path that revolutionized the world that we live in today.

I have always harbored a deep interest in science and math. My curiosity about the universe fueled my passion for learning as I grew up watching Cosmos and NOVA and have been fascinated by Isaac Newton’s contributions to science. If I lived during the Renaissance, I would love to read his original copy of Principia and learn calculus from him or peer into his telescope while he made discoveries in physics. I would stand alongside Galileo and defend his heliocentric model because it was through his discoveries that Voyager 2 has gone past the far reaches of the solar system. Without the inventions and innovations during the Renaissance, our world, as we know it today, would not be the same.

Many of the admired artistic masterpieces in museums today are from the Renaissance. While visiting the Louvre and the Sistine Chapel, I marveled at the intricate details of Michaelangelo’s paintings and sculptures, and it would be even more incredible if I could see the work in progress. Additionally, I would love to sit beside Leonardo Da Vinci as he painted the Mona Lisa or watch him sketch the designs of inventions that could possibly achieve human flight. At that time, flight was a fantasy, but now, airplanes have brought the world closer together. As I think about how much the world has progressed, it is incredible to see how far mankind has come in just 600 years.

The diffusion of cultures and ideas on trade routes would be incredible to experience. From barter trade in the exotic spice markets of the East to conversing with explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan, my mind will be open to learning wherever I go. Their discoveries fueled the excitement over discovering new lands. In addition, one of the most important inventions was the printing press, which made it possible to pursue education and knowledge regardless of societal status.

The Renaissance was intellectually stimulating by changing the world and shaping the future. By living in this period I would experience the great advances that were made in different areas and how Renaissance thinkers revitalized scientific inquiry along with major scientific discoveries. The Renaissance brought mankind one step closer to being connected on a global scale and I would like to see the major developments during this period which included the evolution of a new way of thinking and living. It was definitely a period of great inspiration and achievement that has left a lasting impact on the world.

Katie Lewis – Third Place Winner

If you had to live in another period of time in the past, when would it be and why?

Before the dawn of cell phones and social media, in a world of poor hygiene and togas, lived an empire filled with some of the greatest architects, philosophers, and scientists of all time. They didn’t have all the answers at their fingertips with google. When they had a problem, they would find their own solutions. They weren’t always right, but their failures paved the road for the successes of today. Quite literally, their engineering helped us design the technology to pave roads. The empire may have fallen, but they cannot be forgotten because all roads lead to Rome.

I had the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Italy with my Latin class and explore the ruins of the places I’ve learned so much about in school. As I walked through the Colosseum and Forum, my textbook came alive. I wasn’t just walking through any city, but I was walking through gladiator battles and political speeches given on the steps of the Curia. Of course, I wasn’t hallucinating and actually seeing the events from ancient Rome before my eyes, but I could feel the history in my bones. The only thing missing was the great marble city that used to stand mighty amongst the hills. The forum was merely scattered pebbles, the Colosseum was missing large pieces of its structure, and the Circus Maximus was a circle of matted ground. Being in Rome was amazing, but it wasn’t an authentic Roman experience.

Living in the era of the Roman Empire might sound like someone’s nightmare. I’ve learned some things in Latin class that even make me a little skeptical about choosing this as my desired time period to live in. The city was crowded, the food was not gourmet, and people didn’t have good hygiene. They were definitely not social distancing. There were several human and animal sacrifices to the gods and gladiator battles to the death that would’ve scarred me for life. All of the negatives aside, ancient Rome was probably one of the most advanced cities to ever existed. They might not have had motorized transportation or the internet, but their architecture was so advanced and elegant that modern technology can’t perfectly recreate it.

Ancient Rome was filled with some of the greatest thinkers to ever step foot on this planet. Mythology was their form of google. If they didn’t know why something happened, they would make up a story to explain it. They were far from accurate, but the stories gave them a piece of mind about the unknown. They also had philosophers and poets whose work is still examined in many college classrooms today. Everywhere you look, you can find some piece of Roman influence. We wouldn’t have the technology, theories, or language we do today if it weren’t for the Romans. I would choose to experience ancient Roman society in the flesh because only remnants of their greatness have remained. While we are left with ruins, their ingenuity has sparked the innovations of our society.