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2022 National 5th Grade Essay Contest winner Aava's essay

11-year-old from Philadelphia wins National 5th Grade Essay Contest

May 30, 2024

American Mothers, Inc. (AMI), a historic non-profit organization honoring the positive impact of mothers, is proud to announce the winner of the National 5th Grade Essay Contest—Aava Dadmarz-Parang of Philadelphia, PA. The 11-year-old wrote a short essay on ‘What My Mother Means To Me,’ the prompt from the organization that has been sponsoring this national competition since 2004.

In her submission, Dadmarz-Parang wrote: “I thought everything she did, from packing my bag so it is ready in the morning, to taking care of the elderly, to helping our building get vaccinated was normal and attainable. As I started getting older, I began to realize how much my mom does, and a thought began forming in my mind: My mom might not wear a cape, but she truly is a superhero.”

The fifth-grader says she has a love for writing, and this is the first one she has participated in after being introduced to the competition by her writing teacher. “But to me, my mother is more than a mother. She’s my role model for success…I want to follow in her footsteps as she is the most incredible mother I know,” she wrote in her essay.

National 5th Grade Essay Contest winner Aava Dadmarz Parang from Philadelphia

Her mother, Mitra Dadmarz, said that the essay brought tears to her eyes and she realized her daughter’s keen awareness of her surroundings. When asked what’s important to her as she raises her child and what she’d like to pass down to her, Dadmarz said: “It is important to me to raise a compassionate, caring, self-confident human who respects and believes in herself and knows her self-worth, someone who works hard and seizes every opportunity.” As for takeaways, she wants to instill in her child:

– Set goals for yourself and have a plan but know that not everything goes as planned. Always have a plan B and C.
– Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one step and one day at a time and remember to exercise compassion no matter what.
– Have a global awareness and thirst to learn and respect individuals who live in very different cultures and communities than your own.

Each year, American Mothers, Inc.® sponsors an essay contest for all fifth-grade students or the equivalent, in the public, private and home school environment. The contest theme is “What My Mother Means to Me.” Winners are selected by state, and one national winner is invited to read their essay at the annual National Convention of American Mothers and will receive a $500 Golden Rule Grant to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization of their choice.

For general media inquiries or to set up an interview with the National 5th Grade Essay Contest, contact