Graduation Contest Entry #2

I believe my son, Dylan Barnes, should be the winner of this contest because he is strong, loyal, hard-working, funny, kind to all–especially the very young and the very old–frugal, resourceful, and he never whines. No matter what happens or where he is, I can count on Dylan to do the right thing with a smile.

I was a working single mother for most of Dylan’s life, so he had to learn early to be on time, make his own lunches and do his own laundry. As he became a teen, I watched him apply self-discipline to his school work and athletic activities. I saw him do regular volunteer work, from refereeing games to serving the homeless to being the dunk tank target at the village 4th of July celebration. I saw him help and counsel his friends, take out the garbage, and give his all to school athletic teams even when they lost more than they won.

At the end of his junior year in high school, his grandfather died. Dylan attended the out of town funeral, and then helped his grandmother host a memorial service a week later. Dylan had a terrible sinus infection, but greeted guests and visited with mourners while other family members twice his age could only “handle” sitting outside in the hall.

Right before his senior year of high school, Dylan took on a restaurant job. He had 4 wisdom teeth removed 2 days before his training day, but started on time without a word of complaint. Throughout the school year, despite snow and cold and flu and colds, he never missed a day or night of work. He even worked a full shift on the day of his high school graduation party.

Now Dylan’s graduating from a prestigious college in Chicago area, but is still the same good-hearted young man. He was doing volunteer work on the day after he moved into his dorm. Over one fall break, he insisted on accompanying us on a trip to visit his 99-year-old great-grandmother, studying all the way there and all the way back. He has worked coaching volleyball all through college and been on the dean’s list at the same time. We couldn’t be prouder of him.

Dylan Barnes is more responsible, more generous, and more humble than most men twice or three times his age. He embodies everything a graduate should be.

Written by: Dylan’s mother, Brenda


To enter our graduation contest, tell us what surprised you most about your high school or college grad. You could win up to $100 in graduation product at Pear Tree! Send your entry to with your name, email and phone number and then watch for it to be posted on our blog. But hurry–this graduation contest ends April 1st!