Chelsea Frazilus, of Mebane, placed third last month the “All Service Has Purpose” essay contest, presented by the National Montford Point Marine Association NC Triad-Triangle Chapter 38 and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission of Durham.
Frazilus, 16, is a high school junior and attends Alamance-Burlington Early College. She is also an intern for the National Montford Point Marine Association, an organization celebrating the first Black United States Marines. The Montford Point Marines completed recruit training in Montford Point, NC.
Frazilus hopes to attend Howard University to major in journalism and minor in African American history. If she doesn't end up at Howard, she would like to attend a university in New York City, such as Columbia, New York University or Fordham, as she hopes to one day work as a journalist in the city.
Asked what her reaction to placing third in the essay contest, Frazilus said she was “really surprised.”
“I was, actually, at work because I was on the register and I had my headphones in and I was super shocked because typically when I write something [I show] my parents – I let them listen to it – and they're like, ‘Okay, that's amazing, that's great, I love that,’” Frazilus said. “Well, then with that one, they're like, ‘Okay, that one's good but you've written better.’ So, I didn't really expect anything from it.”
The virtual event, held on February 27, was represented by various veteran nonprofit organizations and guest speakers such as retired Lt. General Walter Gaskin of the United States Marine Corps. The event also featured special guest the Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr, a Montford Marine, who also served as ambassador to Barbados and Grenada.
An excerpt from Frazilus’ essay is below:
“Martin Luther King Jr states, ‘Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.’ The act of service is one which reaps plentiful rewards with examples being a lasting sense of contentment, the gratitude of those served, and the betterment of one’s community. Serving anyone or anything is an action which uses the skills that lie within an individual to help improve their community and the individuals who encompass it. No matter how large or small an action to serve those around is, it never goes unnoticed as even the smallest impact is impactful nonetheless.”