Nicolas Paneto wins school-wide essay contest for Black History Month

Teenage boy in front of book shelf holding paper
Nicolas Paneto’s essay, “The Alms of a Caribbean Star” about Robyn Rihanna Fenty, won the high school’s school-wide essay contest celebrating Black History Month.

Senior Nicolas Paneto won the Goshen High School’s school-wide essay contest celebrating Black History Month. More than 30 students participated.

The topic: Identify an African-American who has positively impacted the world around them. Describe the individual and their accomplishments and explain how they motivate you to make the world around you a better place.

The Alms of a Caribbean Star

By Nicolas Paneto

Humble Carribean island native turned international leading celebrity, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has become a household personality in light of her singular exuberance, unique craft, and monster talent – measured in a plethora of ways. Actress, singer, songwriter, businesswoman, and model she is a rare figure with the versatility and genius to truly ¨shine bright like a diamond¨ (Rihanna) and has us ¨run[ing] for miles just to get a taste¨ (Rihanna) of her exceptional aptitude. Backed by 9 Grammy awards, 33 Grammy nominations, and 14 #1 hits on the Billboard hot 100, Rihanna is unquestionably a commanding vocalist whose boundless potential is portrayed through her music but has yet to stop there. Crowned with the Style Icon Award of 2014, and named Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year (2017), Rihanna progressively builds upon her resume with her undying elegance and effervescent persona. She persists in being a universal inspiration, and this is most widely accepted on the basis of all that she was able to accomplish at such a young age being a female of her background. Originating from Barbados, Rihanna was discovered as the sensational songbird that we all love today at age 15! Her roots built a foundation that for me changed the course of our nation and history as a globe, for it is her ability to form a connection with the common man that sets her apart from the majority of other celebrities.

Rihanna strikes a chord indefinitely with her audience through her genuine concern for the condition of man. She is a benevolent individual and has been advocating for widespread humanitarianism throughout the duration of her career, which is evident through her contributions to 24 charities and 25 different causes. She defines a humanitarian as someone who simply “help[s] one person expecting nothing in return” (Rihanna). She proceeds to elaborate on this misinterpreted term by stating that anyone can be a humanitarian, regardless of their background- even if you are not educated, or famous, being a humanitarian is a measure of character, a behavior, rather, and is a position that is at the disposal of every individual.

If I could choose to be anything in the world, I would choose to be myself, for it is because of Rihanna that I feel inclined to accomplish my duties as a functioning member of society. She has sparked a fire in my soul to aid those less fortunate than I. Even through starting small with one life, I have the ability to positively affect the lives of many. Put simply, imagine what we as a society would accomplish if we all helped even just one person.

There is always going to be someone wealthier than you and someone better off than you. Therefore, there is always going to be someone more impoverished for you to help. Rihanna closes this phenomenon by stating that “If you got a dollar, there’s plenty to share” (Rihanna) and I for one have more than enough dollars to share.