Student Essay's submitted for the Annual $500 PEPSI Scholarship Award to Senior Students at Hancock Middle/Senior High School
HANCOCK MEANS TO ME:
by Evan Smith - 2012
To me growing up in Hancock means that not only do I have my immediate family but I also have my extended family which is the community of Hancock. Both are always available when you need them. My family is always there to support me whether financially, emotionally and physically. The community is there to support me when I have needed it. My grandfather's family owned a local feed and flour mill, that is no longer in existence, but they have lived in Hancock all their lives. I am a fifth generation Hancock native. When I was little there wasn't anywhere in town I couldn't go that people didn't know who I was and it is still like that today.
At night you don't have to lock your doors to your house or vehicles. I feel safe and secure knowing that most people can be trusted. As a child I could ride my bike around town, walk to the local ball field or go fishing in the park or river and still feel safe and secure. Most people passing by would speak or just wave. Even if I didn't know someone's name i could come home and describe the person and a family member could tell me exactly who it was. In Hancock, you don't have to use a telephone to contact each other, you may see them in the barbershop, grocery store or on a walk around the town. There is always time for conversation. In middle school i' played football and my mother was going to school in the evenings after work. If my grandparents were unable to take me to practice, I could catch a ride a neighbor. In exchange
for this my mother would make homemade soup or baked goods in exchange for this kindly deed.
Where else can you walk around the corner and borrow something from your neighbor and in return when they are in need you can return the favor. Neighbors get together to help one another in many ways such as home improvement, mowing grass and security for each other. Only in Hancock can you go outside to cook on your grill and before you know it neighbors are bringing items for a group cookout. You can always enjoy the company of good neighbors in Hancock. One thing I" have learned, growing up in a small town, you must work hard for everything you got, because nobody is going to just hand you what you want. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but you should look before you leap, because I would not want to group up anywhere else.
SMALL COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
by Tyler Cheng - 2012
Living in a small community means relationships between neighbors are very close. This statement holds true in the town of Hancock, where the population is under 2,000 and everyone know everyone. Personally, I grew in in a much larger suburb in Florida, but I moved here in the middle of my sophomore year. Hancock has provided me with many opportunities, it has a more personal relationship in school, and it gives everyone a sense of belonging.
When I came to Hancock, I realized that I was going to have a lot of opportunities playing sports and staying involved. Never in a million years has I ever dreamed of playing high school football. However, on my first day of school, the football coach came to me and asked if I played any sports. I told him I ha played soccer for ten years and his eyes lit up. He explained to me the football team desperately needed a kicker and told me he would love to have me. Before this encounter, I never touched a football a day in my life. After this year's season of football, UI was recruited by Frostburg State University to kick for them. This is a chance I would have never had without Hancock.
Hancock has a graduating class of 32 this year. With this being said, this leaves class sizes under 20 allowing a more personal relationship with teachers. Some people learn better with one to one communication. I personally am one of these people and I learn more easily when I have one on one interaction with my teachers, which I did not have in Florida. Since I have been here, I have been completing a more rigorous schedule, and excelling in all of my classes. Hancock has helped me excel to my full potential.
On my first day on Hancock soil, people accepted me for who I am, despite different backgrounds. People were welcoming to the "new kid", which I have never been before. They made the transition much easier for me. After being here for over two years, I have developed many strong relationships with my peers, as well as many people in the community.
Hancock has been a great place to finish my high school career. I appreciate the small community where everyone knows everyone. While it is much different than where I lived in Florida I have adapted well. I have had a lot of opportunities to propel my future. I have excelled in the classroom and the people of the community are very excepting. I take pride in calling Hancock my home.
HANCOCK'S FIELDS STILL HOLD DREAMS
Many people feel free to leave their keys in their car and their homes unlocked, which is a rarity anywhere else in the country. Furthermore, Hancock's low crime rate instills a sense of freedom in its residents and draws many others seeking a safe place to raise a family. Hancock is a family-oriented town where parents can feel comfortable about their children's safety. The level of safety I feel in Hancock outweighs any of the negative aspects of a small town. I also cannot overlook the close knit, supportive community; people are more than just a face in the crowd, and you can't go anywhere in the town without seeing people you know. In fact, I can't go to the grocery store without ending up in a conversation with someone.
Since everyone in the community is familiar with practically everyone else, there is no need for anyone to feel as if they are alone. There is always someone to turn to for help or advice, so nobody ever has to face a problem unaided. Many have said that there are more churches in town than there are people, which is a compliment to the character of Hancock's people. Churches of many denominations prosper in a town with one of the smallest populations in the area due to the assistance and participation of the parishioners. Such participation clearly shows a sense of volunteerism in the community as well as high work ethic: which are two things any resident could be proud of.
Set in a beautiful country surrounding, the small town is the essence of simplicity. It would be nearly impossible to describe Hancock accurately in a tourist brochure. There are no large commercial attractions or overpriced department stores, and that is precisely what makes the town so great. One almost has to grow up here to truly appreciate all the qualities such a small, laid-back town has to offer. It is a little piece of what America used to be before large scale commercialization and fast-paced living. Houses are not placed on top of one another, and one can actually enjoy the sight of trees in the middle of town.
Many cities have converted their fields into blacktop as far as the eye can see, and city dwellers do not know what it is like to have a backyard. One would think a place like Hancock would be isolated from the rest of the world, but the proximity of the town to major cities such as the nation's capital keeps the town in touch with the rest of society. Hancock's location also puts residents in a position to travel westward to beautiful mountains, lakes and ski resorts, as well as the option to travel east to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
I consider myself privileged to have grown up in an area others could only dream about - a short drive to major cities and a short walk away from wide open fields: something which shouldn't be taken for granted. As I look forward into the future I realize that Hancock is not just a town, but a big part of me and anywhere I decide to go in life I will be taking a little piece of Hancock along with me.
HANCOCK, A GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP
Nestled along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains, lays a small town that I call home. This community has been my home for my entire life. The town of Hancock is located in Western Maryland at the narrowest area of the panhandle. It is located less than two hours west of our nation's Capital and just a short drive to several major cities.
The town is rich in history. To its north is the Mason-Dixon line and to the south is the Potomac River. The town was founded nearly three hundred years ago as a post for frontier settlers. It is said that George Washington visited the town and stayed in a place known as Flint's Chance, which is just west of the town limits and is currently known as Cohill Manor. The town began as a major trade route to the western frontier. The C&O Canal was built in the early 19th century and further promoted the town as a trading center. The town's location has continued to carry on this tradition as a stopping place for travelers and those seeking the area's history.
The hospitality of the community remains strong. There are several nice restaurants including Weaver's Restaurant, The Lockhouse and the nationally recognized Park n Dine. There are a number of unique shops that carry something for everyone. For the outdoors man, Hendershot's Sporting Goods carries nearly everything for hunters and fishermen. There are jewelry shops, video stores, auto parts and hardware stores. There are a number of activities which people can get involved in. There are Little League and Junior football leagues, girls softball, hunting and fishing. You can spend the day hiking or biking on the Rail Trail or the C&O Canal towpath. There are scouting groups for boys and girls. There are also volunteer groups for adults. The community also has numerous churches.
The school system has a lot to offer. The Hancock Middle/Senior High School is one of the smallest public schools in Maryland. Many would say that this is a disadvantage, but I believe it is a great learning place. In our school, students aren't just another face. Teachers take interest in all students, knowing each by name. The small size offers the benefit of more personalized education. The school has sports and other programs that any student can become involved in as long as they want to participate.
I like that Hancock is still a small town where I can walk down the street and feel safe. As communities to our east continue to grow, it is inevitable that Hancock cannot be too far behind. I want to be able to be a part of the future of this community. My goal is to become a high school teacher so that I can help provide the young people of our town the quality education needed to be successful in a changing environment. I want to be able to provide tomorrow's residents many of the same opportunities that I have been so richly blessed with growing up in Hancock, MD.
MEMORIES OF A SMALL TOWN
by Jennifer L. Willison - 2006
I have lived in the petite town of Hancock all of my 18 years. I have traveled just
about every back road and seen just about everything there is to see in this tiny town.
We have 39 seniors graduating from my high school this year. I have played sports
with the same small group of people since we first started in elementary school. If you are thinking it sounds like I live in one of the smallest towns and attend one of the smallest schools in Washington county I would have to say you are probably right.
However, I wouldn't change that for the world.
My father grew up in Frost burg, MD where he met my mother from Cumberland, MD. They decided to start a family and wanted to move somewhere that would be closer to my father's work in the Frederick, MD area. They considered Myersville but fell in love with the friendly, caring atmosphere of Hancock. So they made some sacrifices and settled down in this quiet town, and am I ever thankful that they did. It really gives me a sense of family living here. I know mostly everyone in town and most everyone knows me. I really like having a close knit community because the support I receive from everyone really helps motivate me in everything I do. For instance, sporting events are always packed with loyal Hancock friends, family, and fans. This is especially important to me because I am a basketball player and having crowd support is a confidence buster as well as an inspiration because you get to see all of the people you are playing for, and watch their reactions to your hard play and for an athlete, that really shows you that your hard work does pay off.
Coming from a small town means that your high school is also going to be small, not to mention your class size and the student to teacher ratio. Like I said earlier, I am apart of one of the smallest classes to graduate from Hancock Middle Senior High School. With only 39 seniors it is evident that we have all formed strong bonds with each other that will last a lifetime. Yes, you have this in all schools, however, it is extremely special in ours because when we are older and look at pictures of our Junior/Senior Prom and funny snap shots of the last day of our sophomore year, we will be able to remember every one in the picture because of the closeness of everyone in the class, not just our special click. Also I don't think there is any teacher in my school that I have not had a one on one conversation with. The student/teacher ratio in our school really makes it a good atmosphere to learn and get the best out of your education.
Another advantage to living in a small town such as Hancock is the work force. I am a full time student at HHS and a three sport athlete, therefore, my work time is limited. I hold a summer job at the Hancock Pool where I lifeguard and teach swimming lessons. The same peoples children I teach are the people that I see on a daily basis around the community. This gives them a sense of security knowing that their child is being taught, not by a stranger, but by an upstanding community member. Also working at the pool brings back memories of my childhood because now I am employed at the very place that I spent so many long hours playing as a kid. Hancock really gives me a sense of identity, family, and security. I know that when I go away to college next year at Hood College in Frederick, MD I will always have a place I can come back to and find a memory around every corner.
GROWING UP IN HANCOCK - FANTASTIC
by Dylan Shives - 2006
I am enrolled at Hancock Middle-Senior High and I am also involved in the ESSENCE Program through Hagerstown Community College. During my involvement with this program, I have completed courses in Public Speaking, Sociology, Psychology, and Personal Health, which have resulted in 12 college credits.
My parents are Emlynn and Stephanie Shives who have owned and operated Shives' Pizza for 36 years. My family has been long-time residents of Hancock with a brief residence in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. On January 19, 1990 when I was 1 1/2 years old, we moved "back home" where we current reside at 115 East Main Street. My home is located 50 feet from the Western Maryland Rails to Trails and only 300 yards from the Potomac River. Both places that have been much enjoyment to me.
During the winter season, in my childhood, I thoroughly enjoyed and cherish the memories of sled riding at the high school. It was also during this season that I became involved with the youth basketball program at Hancock Elementary. The skills taught and the friendship incurred was tremendous. Basketball has always been a favorite sport of mine which motivated me to play one year on Hancock's junior varsity team and three years on the varsity level. Outside the school's environment, there always seemed to be other constructive activities to become involved in and one that I totally have enjoyed has been the town's Winterfest.
Through the spring, I can recall taking part in the local Jaycee's Easter Egg hunt, fishing for trout in Hancock Widmeyer Memorial Par, T-ball at Kirkwood Park followed by four years playing Little League Baseball at Gerber Field. What a magnificent field and I can now appreciate the time and energy taken by the many volunteers to maintain this fantastic facility. One of the most memorable and learning experiences was being asked to assist Coach Jeff Spielman during basketball camp held at Hancock Middle-Senior High School.
As with any youth, summertime was especially enjoyable and busy. I can still visualize and hold dear the time spent swimming at the Hancock Pool, the 3-on-3 basketball tournaments sponsored by the Hancock Police Department, the Fireman's Carnival and, enjoying relaxing hours fishing at the river.
Finally, the beautiful and cool days of the fall season arrived but still, activities were plentiful. Hunting with my uncle, brother, and dad, the community's Trick or Treat night, playing football with the Hancock Raiders and progressing to high school football, taking part in the Rotary Club's Fishing Rodeo, and walking around spending time with friends during the Lion's Club Canal Apple Festival. Fall wouldn't be complete without the Rotary sponsored Hancock Halloween Parade. Family and relatives would come together bringing their specially designed and decorated pumpkins that were displayed on our porch for all to see and enjoy. Later, we would settle down in our "front row" seats on our porch to enjoy a large and entertaining parade.
Even though I am young, I feel very fortunate to live in a community that provides its youth with many activities to enjoy. I don't know what life would have been like if it were not for the town's volunteers that take time to beautify the town with flowers; the civic organizations who plan fun events' and, the people who genuinely care about YOU and always seem to have a smile.
I am now employed at the Sheetz Store in Hancock to earn money that will be used to help defray future college expenses. It is my plan to continue my education at Hagerstown Community College majoring in Administration of Justice and later, transfer to a four-year college to earn a B.S. Degree. My occupational desire is to become employed in the law enforcement field....Who knows, maybe with the Hancock Police Department.
Growing up in Hancock can simply be categorized as FANTASTIC and I am proud to be a member of this community.
GROWING UP IN HANCOCK, MARYLAND
by Tye Souders - 2007
One of the nicest towns in all of Western Maryland is the town of Hancock. Living in this town for eighteen years, I have noticed the community change with businesses opening and closing and new people moving in, and yet this town has maintained its image of a friendly municipality in the Appalachian Mountains.
My family, the Souders, have great historical ties to the town of Hancock, My great-grandfather, Charles Souders, his son, Carl, and his son (my father), Daniel, all grew up in this town. My grandfather had only an eighth-grade education in which he left school to work for his family during the Great Depression in the 1930s. He also witnessed the great flood in town in 1936. Both my father and I had our first jobs in Hancock. My father helped to pick fruit on the orchards just west of town in the 1960s. I began working at a local grocery store in town in 2005.
Because Hancock is a small community, major crimes are not an immediate threat to the neighborhood. Unlike the cruel homicides and burglaries that occur on a daily basis in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, this quiet neighborhood experiences very little serious crime, with only a few incidents every year. It is good to know that Hancock is a nice town to raise one's children and a good place to feel free to walk about and shop downtown stores or enjoy a day in the park. Everyone can feel safe when they are in public while in Hancock.
Another quality to a small town is the ability to know a person by name when you see them in a store or pass them on the street. In some major urban areas, people are unaware of who lives in their own apartment complex or who lives over on the next block. While living most of your life in Hancock, you are able to know who your neighbors are and you can easily recognize the local people while outing in Hancock. In addition, knowing your neighbors creates the same sense of large family in which everyone helps everyone else. After Hurricane Ivan passed through, several basements in the homes along my block were flooded. I noticed neighbors helping each other to get through this hardship, an example of good that can come out of knowing each other in a small-town community.
In my personal opinion, Hancock is located in the most scenic region in the State of Maryland. Taking a drive west on I-68, one will pass through the Sideling Hill cut and experience the geologic history of the area, an can experience the magnificent overlooks from the five mountains between Hancock and Cumberland. Bikers can also enjoy the Rail Trail and towpath along the C&O Canal.
Hancock is a marvelous place to raise a family. I know I have enjoyed my time growing up in Hancock, and would like to return to the area after graduating from the Pharmacy school in Baltimore.
LIVING IN HANCOCK
by Dustin Hull - 2007
Hancock may have the smallest school in Maryland, but it gives the best education. I would rather be at Hancock than at a school with 300 kids in the graduating class. Hancock is a place where everybody knows everybody, which can be both good and bad. Many people believe that since you go to Hancock you do not receive as good of an education as at other schools, but that fails to be the case. As a student at Hancock, you receive personal help whenever needed, and you build wonderful relationships with your teachers. Where as at other schools, the only thing teachers know about their students are their names. Hancock has more of a learning friendly environment, where each student receives their own personal help whenever they need it. If a student is having trouble with a certain subject, they can just go to the teacher and ask for help, and the teacher always has time to help. As far as I know, this is a unique trait for the educational program at Hancock.
I love being part of the programs at Hancock, because we are always the underdogs. Every single game we step out onto the field or court expected to lose. We never give up though, we keep on pushing through, and losing is just not acceptable. Every year is a new challenge, whether it is finding enough kids to participate or just being able to compete. Sometimes this may be difficult since we only have 175 students in the high school,but we find ways to persevere. No just isn't an answer, we do what we are capable of until the very end. I have never been part of a team here at Hancock that has quit. Even if the basketball team is losing by 40 points, every single player on the team will give everything they have until the final buzzer. This is just the instinct of all Hancock athletes.
I am exuberant that I had to chance to grow up in Hancock and experience what I have. Many people say they want to leave Hancock and never come back, but I don't fee that way. I will be leaving for college, but I will come back all the time. Hancock is a very peaceful place, and doesn't have all the hustle and bustle of all over the bigger cities. Hancock is a place to build relationships that will last forever. I will come back to my class reunion and remember everybody's names, and most other schools can't say that. Hancock is a wonderful place to live and I have no regrets about living here. I have never wished I lived somewhere else; after all no other town is as great as Hancock.
LIVING IN HANCOCK
by Danny Mauk - 2008
Living in Hancock has been more ethan just a rewarding experience; it has made me who I am today .Hancock is the picture perfect image of small town America; a place where you don't have to incessantly worry about crime, you can develop close personal ties with your neighbor, and stay preoccupied with activities which won't lead down the wrong path.
Hancock is one of the safest neighborhoods I have ever been in and it has been a pleasure growing up here. The police officers are truly dedicated to their work and remain involved in the town so there not just another face passing by. I have never once felt threatened in my 18 years of Hancock because of the protection officers like T.J. Buskirk and his dog Rambo provide.
Hancock is a place where you can truly get to know everyone around you. This presents a variety of different personalities and people to come to know, and each person can become a true friend. Not many people in this town are hard to get along with, so I have not felt like I have ever needed a friend, someone is always there. I play on the football team and the party Debbie Cohill throws every year during the season has been a highlight of my time here. Those are the type of people who live in Hancock.
Hancock also provides plenty of activities to keep out of trouble. The Barge Bash, Winter Festival, Carnival, Canal Apple Days and Halloween Parade are great ways to have fun and have given me some of my favorite memories. Not only that, but places like the park, the pool and the rails and trails are there for constant enjoyment. Hancock is not the largest of towns but it manages to have big time activities.
My life in Hancock has so far given me the best moments of my life. From birth to graduation it has truly been an honor to consider myself a member of this community. I plan to continue living in Hancock and continuing to bask in the rewarding experiences it offers. Any person from another community should be envious of the opportunities I've had just because I live in Hancock.
THOUGHTS ON LIVING IN AND/OR GROWING UP IN HANCOCK
by Richard Strong - 2008
As far back as I can remember I have always loved Hancock. When I was young I used to live with my mother in Prince George's County. But every other day and every other weekend I was with my dad who would bring me to Hancock for visits. In the summer he would let me spend a week here to attend Adventures in Friendship Camp. During the 4-5 summers I did this I made a lot of very good friends and I became quite fond of this little Town. Each time I visited it became harder to go home. In the summer of 2004 I came to volunteer as a member of Adventures Camp and things worked out so I could live with relatives here and I never had to return to the city. I had made so many friends during my visits that when I started school I 'did not feel like the new kid in town. I became a part of the Hancock High School Football Team, the Hancock High School Track and Field Team, and the Hancock Panther Marching Band. Recently I have been able to volunteer as a stage hand for the Arts Council.
In addition to liking the people in this town I also like that Hancock has mountainous surroundings making in a more enjoyable environment. The weather is always great; it becomes very cold in the winter and very enjoyable weather in the summer. Another good thing about Hancock is that being in a small town makes gathering basic needs very easy. Everything you need is within walking distance.
Living in the country is very different than living in the city. In the city there is a very high crime rate. While living there I heard police and/or ambulance sirens all hours of the day and night. That is just a regular sound that you must get used to when you live in the city. Now the most noise I hear at night is the train down near the river. Crimes in school were bad in the city. At least once a week a student was escorted out of the school by police officers for carrying drug paraphernalia or for assaulting another student or teacher. I have lived both ways and I can tell you that there is a lot to be thankful for here.
Living in Hancock and being an active part of this community has made an incredible impact on who I am today. As a small boy I always thought that Hancock was the greatest place to live and now I now that it is. In deciding my career goals I wanted to choose a field that I would not only enjoy but one that would allow me to find acceptable employment within a reasonable commute of Hancock. Now that I am here
I have no plans of leaving. After completing my education I want to stay right here and hope to someday give back to a community that has given a lot to me in many ways.
LIVING IN HANCOCK
by David L. Weller - 2009
Living in a small town such as Hancock has advantages and disadvantages; however, the advantages out weigh the disadvantages. Hancock is unique in that is has many of the amenities of larger towns and many more than some of the small towns in this area. Recreational activities are available and plentiful; such as the Western Maryland Rail Trail, the :Potomac River, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, baseball fields, fishing and hunting areas, and many parks. Many of my friends and I take advantage of these recreation activities and appreciate the opportunity to use them.
Another plus for small town students is the smaller classroom sizes and more personalized attention from the faculty and staff at our school. Hancock students can thank the many businesses and individuals that support their school programs such as band, baseball, softball, basketball, football, and track; because without their support these programs may not be available.
The residents of Hancock can feel safe while shopping, dining out or while walking in the evening because of the excellent police department presence throughout the town.
Growing up in Hancock has provided me with many good memories that will remain with me for years to come. Being a member of the first Hancock Senior League Baseball Team to win the Championship for our district, the band trips to the Bahamas and Disney World, participating in the Homeless programs at school, volunteering at the Interfaith Service Coalition, helping my grandfather with his Chamber of Commerce duties, my part time employment at Pittman's Market and all the friendships that I have made over the years.
I feel that I am very fortunate to live in Hancock and be able to know that we have a much better way of life than many millions of people less fortunate. Just like when my mother and two hundred and fifty of her fellow coworkers became dislocated workers in March 2008 when Rayloc down sized, the Mayor and town council offered to help them with resources as to what was available for them in the area. Hancock may not have the entire big city glimmer, transportation systems, skyscrapers, shopping centers and theaters, but we are close enough to these larger cities that we can access them and know that at the end of the day we can return to Hancock where it is more relaxed and a less hectic living style. We may be laid back, but we are still in the main stream with the internet, cable television, and other technology that the big cities have.
My grandparents and my mother have lived in several foreign countries, in many of the major cities of the United States and they are very happy to have returned to Hancock after my grandfather's retirement from the united States Air Force. I would recommend small town living to everyone.
GROWING UP IN HANCOCK
by Jill Helmstetter - 2009
Not many kids can say that they got to pick their hometown. When given the option to attend middles school and high school in either Cumberland or Hancock, I chose Hancock. It was an easy choice for me. Even though I was born in Little Orleans, I was in a way raised in Hancock. From the time I was little Hancock was where I attended Vacation Bible School, watched parades, fed the ducks and played on the playground equipment at the town park or at the community center. I visited the library, swam at the pool, went to the festivals, ate at the restaurants and rode my bike on the trails. Going to Hancock for middle school seemed like a natural transition for me.
I was quickly adopted into the Hancock family, finding many people I soon considered to be close friends. The thing about Hancock is that once you make a friend, you have a friend for life. Because of the small school size, I have had classes with the same people since 6th grade, and we have all become very close. Not only have we watched each other grow, we've learned from each other's mistakes. I couldn't have asked for a better education. Our small class sizes allowed individual attention, and our teachers knew us both inside and outside the classroom.
Between school, extracurricular activities, and friends and family living in Hancock, I spend more time in Hancock than I actually do in Little Orleans. My friends often tell me I live in my car, and if anyone saw all the clothes and shoes in my trunk, they would agree. When I get out of my car anywhere in town, I don't think twice about leaving my car unlocked or my windows down, something I would never do in Cumberland or Hagerstown. I believe Hancock is a safe community. Some people say that the disadvantage of living in a small town is that "everyone knows everything about everyone". I disagree. Knowing that someone is watching holds people accountable and makes people take responsibility for their actions.
I believe that sometimes Hancock may be looked down on by other people because it is a small town. You sometimes hear comments that our sports teams and academics are only "Hancock good". What those people may mean as an insult is actually a compliment. Hancock citizens are talented, hard-working, respectful, honest people who watch out for and care about their neighbors. It's a safe town to live in and raise a family, and people pitch in to help each other whenever there is a need. Hancock has helped shape me into the person I am today. Without this community, my friends, and my family, I would be a completely different person. Wherever I go in my life, I will always hold a piece of Hancock in my heart.
GROWING UP IN HANCOCK
by Dylan Rinker - 2010
I was raised in Little Orleans, which is separated from Hancock by only few miles and Sideling Hill. During my youth I attended Flintstone Elementary School. Upon completion I was given the opportunity to enroll in Washington Middle School but instead went to Hancock Middle Senior High School. I believe this transition changed my life for the better.
Before I attended Hancock's school my family and I frequented Hancock. On some summer days we would relax in the park or even go to the pool. We would even round up some friends and play soccer in the park. We enjoyed stopping at Fox's Pizza Den for dinner and we would get our groceries from Pittman's. Even though I had a preference for Hancock I was somewhat nervous to enter the school. But as soon as I enter and became accustomed to my new environment and surroundings I came to enjoy the place quite well. The teachers are all great people who care about the students as well as the student's future career goals. The small school size may have startled some though I became fond of it. It is easy to relate and connect with all the people in the school; it is easy to associate with other and make friends.
Over time my attraction to this locale grew. Though it was a little unusual at first, the gradual transition had me enjoying the school and the town. I was told to savor the time I
had and enjoy every moment, and this, I tried to do. Regardless, I will soon graduate and move on. All the time I have spent in Hancock has seemed so short, in hindsight, it seems like only yesterday I can recall playing in the park, my first day in the middle school, or my first experience of high school.
My family and upbringing have valued discipline, resolve, and academic pursuit. My schooling and the time in Hancock has bolstered these beliefs. I continue to work hard and strive for success. Hancock has offered college level courses, like Advanced Placement and classes through Hagerstown Community College's ESSENCE program. These have not only challenged me and pushed my limits, they have also made me a more experienced individual, expanded my horizons, and accelerated my college career. I believe the labors and work ethics throughout my school career have rewarded me. I have perfect attendance for this year, and a very high attendance overall.
All in all, I am glad and proud to have attended Hancock Middle Senior High School. Though I am delighted to have been raised around Hancock, I feel I should continue my education. I have decided to attend the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and am currently en rolled for a Bachelor's Degree in Video Game Art and Design. I promise to continue working diligently and uphold the high standards and values I have learned not only from my upbringing and experiences, but from Hancock as well. I vow to be an exemplary representative of the community and school of Hancock.
GROWING UP IN HANCOCK
by Mariah Peck - 2010
When I received this scholarship application I already knew of all the possible things I could write for this essay. There are so many great things that come from living in the Town of Hancock. I really couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
I lived in the Fleming Trailer Court until I was around ten years old. I was surrounded by the most caring neighbors, my grandparents to the right, my aunt and uncle to the left, and across the street, the nice lady who gave me ten cents a day to go get her mail. I remember spending endless summer days with the other children that lived nearby. I recollect arguing with the older kids over who would get to use the "community" basketball hoop down in the holler, even thought it was rightfully everyone's. The most important thing is that everyone looked out for each other and supported those in need of a favor.
While traveling to other schools for athletic events, there were endless times that our opponents minimized our team because we came from "Little Ol' Hancock". Being a small town is what makes it so great; it allows citizens to feel save and more protected. It also makes our community closer than that of an urban area.
Our size does not hinder us in economy either; the people of Hancock have worked hard to make it what it is. We have thriving businesses, appetizing restaurants, and our people as whole are astonishing. Recently, our community came together to raise over $10,000 to help towards paying the medical expenses for one of our well-respected, well-known, and generous citizens. It was miraculous how the people of Hancock, as well as those in our neighboring cities came together to support her and her family in their time of need.
Now that my fellow classmates and I are only months away from graduation, I see myself wanting to go back and relieve my elementary school days. Many of my friends say they can't wait to go to college, mostly to get out of Hancock. If only they would take the time to realize most of them have spent their entire lives here, and it's not easy to lave such a wonderful place behind. I expect many of them will at some point begin to crave those hot summer days, playing basketball with their friends, not a care in the world. As for me, I'm staying here; I can't imagine leaving Hancock, all the memories that living here has brought me.
by Brian Robair - 2011
Since 1749, Hancock has been a resting place for travelers, a center for trade, and a main stopping point along the C&O Canal. Hancock's churches, two being 175 years old, served as hospitals for wounded soldiers during the Civil Ear. Hancock remains the same today, nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains, serving as a place of re3fuge from the world outside.
Hancock is a historical town, and very few have the ability to call it home. The pure thrill of discovering a forgotten building, or one of the old locks is enough to inspire any intellectual mind. Take a ride along the towpath, see for yourself what our ancestors built and maintained to sustain their livelihood. It is impossible to describe the intellectual stimulation in words. This sense of historical importance make residents of Hancock proud of the area they live in.
Hancock is the stereotypical down home kind of town. Its seclusion from other societies results in a close knit community, where everyone supports one another, and where one can find some kind of help, no matter who they are. Everyone knows everyone else. No matter where you go, you will always run into those situations when two people, following their own separate agendas, will stop to talk to each other for a few minutes, only to walk away and repeat the process five minutes later.
In my opinion, students get it best in Hancock. Small classes, awesome teachers, and little competition allows for opportunities in sports and education. Being a member of the track and field team for three years, I realize that at any other school in the country, I may not have made the team my sp[sophomore year. Academically, the small classes make for easier education, which results in better chances for the future. But the small class size also results in academic competition , making students work for their success.
It is probably one of the safest places a family could live. There is very little crime in Hancock, one hardly sees a police officer taking action against a citizen. Any family looking to raise their children in a safe place should definitely consider Hancock.
Deep in the Appalachian Mountains, behind endless trees of endless colors, standing beside the great Potomac River, is the place that so many call home. It is our sanctuary.
It is our home.
"SMALL TOWN, U.S.A."
by Katie Cropp - 2011
If you've heard Justin Moore sing his hit song "Small Town, U.S.A." you would think he wrote it sitting in our very own Widmeyer Park In my opinion, the words 'small town'
perfectly sums up Hancock in a nutshell. If you find yourself in trouble before breakfast, everyone is already talking about it at lunch. Some people would consider growing up in such a small town a curse, but I don't agree with that notion. This town has always been a blessing in my life. To me, living in Hancock has always been and will forever be a wonderful memory.
It's never easy being the new kind in any town. At the beginning of my sixth grade year, I began attending Hancock Middle School with students who had known each other their whole lives. In the middles of my seventh grade year my mom, sister and I found a new house and moved into a new community where almost everyone welcomes newcomers with open arms and a wide smile on their face. All throughout my transition, I've not once felt un welcomed. From the day I moved the first box into my new home to the day I sit here to type this essay, I've felt like an accepted member of this petite society, and have loved it every step of the way.
If you would ask any given teenager living in Hancock what they thought of our town, they would more than likely pick it apart and only give you the negative details that come to their mind. From what you' read so far, you can probably tell I'm not a member of the group with that mind set.
Hancock has many amazing assets. With the tow park, the community pool and the C&O Canal being within walking distance from my house, I haven't had much trouble finding ways to keep myself entertained. Not to mention Hancock's one-of-a-kind Bait & Tackle/Snow Cone Shop, which has turned into quite the hand-out for my friends and me. It's one of the many things that give our town its unique character.
Living in Hancock has helped me become the person I am today. These people I'm surrounded by have, in a way, became a part of me. They've all had a hand in sculpting my personality. Being around those with upbeat personalities and good qualities has made me a more positive person. I've always heard you are who your friends are.
Although at times Hancock could be considered "boring" because of its slow-paced feeling, I wouldn't trade living in this town for living in any other town in the world. I have no one else to thank for the wonderful years I've spent here but every fantastic member of this community. I'm sincerely grateful for the people I've been lucky enough to meet. Hancock is forever my home, and forever my heart.