Through a statewide contest, Anna-Cater Meyer was inspired to write and express her feelings about Hargrove Elementary, a school she attended before Hobbton Middle School. Many years ago, only African-Americans attended the school because of segregation policies.
“Because state laws cannot keep people separated anymore, when I walked into my school, I didn’t feel different towards any of my peers, and we have pictures of me and my best friends – white, black and Hispanic, at school functions,” Meyer wrote in her essay titled “The Forever Change.”
For her work, she was one of the top competitors in the North Carolina Bar Association’s (NCBA) Law Day Essay Contest for 2017. Meyer earned a third place ranking in the Junior High section. She decided to compete after learning about the contest from her social studies teacher Chip Pollock.
“It was amazing,” Meyer said. “I had three days to write it and I didn’t think I was going to get near that spot.”
The topic focused on the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”
Meyer joined other students in Raleigh as the North Carolina Bar Association observed Law Day 2017 on May 5. The students were honored for their efforts in the annual competitions for essay writing, poster art, photo essay and moot court. A luncheon was also held for the young students. During the recognition, she received a plaque and $100 in front of NCBA members. Hobbton Middle received $100 too.
Her essay also focused on voting policies towards women and gender discrimination. In Meyer’s essay, she wrote about social studies lessons involving a time when men were considered more important than women.
“Women had the appearance of being people who did all the cooking and the cleaning,” Meyer said. “Men had the appearance of being hardworking landowners. Women got tired of not getting the same treatment that the men received. Women wanted to get recognition for what they were capable of doing.”
Meyer was recently honored by the Sampson County Schools Board of Education and Principal Jeff Bradshaw for her participation in the contest. Meyer said law is something she’s thinking about for the future. Her mother, Sandra Meyer, is a lawyer in Wayne County.
Lisa Tart, HMS media specialist, also commended Meyer for her accomplishments in the school.
“I expect that from her because she’s so dedicated to what she does,” Tart said.
The essay writer is also a member of the school’s Battle of the Books team, Beta Club, Student Government Association, and plays softball and volleyball. She assists Tart in the library.
“She’s very dedicated and she’s a leader,” Tart said. “Anna-Cater helps me decide which books we should be focusing on today. She’s that kind of student. We’ll continue to hear about her.”