AGE 12
FAVORITE FOOD Guiso, a traditional Paraguayan dish that her mother makes with rice, meat and vegetables

Felicia Seybold is one busy sixth grader. She sings in the William Henry Middle School chorus. She's part of the school's Meaningful Economics team and she was recently named the national grand prize winner in the middle school category of the There's Always Time for Kindness essay contest. Felicia's win in the competition earned $1,000 for her school. She already has a few suggestions about how her school could spend the money.

Q: Do you have a plan for what you're going to do with your prize money?

A: I'm probably going to suggest that they use it on more books for the library, because they're starting to run out of stuff for me to read. Also things like better textbooks that are more up to date.

Q: You said the library is running out of books for you to read. How many books do you read in a week?

A: It depends on how many books I have at hand. I can read a 300-page book in a few days, so I guess I can read two or three 300-page books in a week.

Q: What did you write about for the There's Always Time for Kindness competition?

A: My topic was about how you might try and get someone to be nice to you and how to make it so everyone around you can feel safe, secure and befriended. I made a picture to go with it. I thought the picture would make it more explanatory. My picture was someone going up to a girl with a plate of cookies. The girl who received the cookies didn't know what to think because no one had ever tried to be nice to her before.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you had won?

A: I was really surprised because I didn't think I would get anywhere with this. I was really just ecstatic.

Q: Is this the first award you've won at school?

A: In elementary school I won two different school-wide writing contests. We would write a piece using a prompt. We would send it in to our teacher and they would pick the best one from the class and take it to the principal. The principal would pick the best two for each grade and I got the honor of getting that twice.

Q: Do you think that participating in competitions helps you with your writing?

A: I think it does. Sometimes I think I'm not the best writer, but this makes me think that I am much better than I think.

Q: Is writing something that you enjoy doing?

A: I like to read more than I like to write, but I write sometimes. It's really hard trying to figure out what you're going to write about, especially when you're trying to do fantasy or fiction. Sometimes you have to come up with something completely new, so you don't copy off of other people. It makes it really fun to think about.