While she couldn’t think of what to get her this year for Mother’s Day, the Forest Hills High School senior entered in the N.Y. Diamond Boutique’s first annual “Why My Mom Is The Best Mom” essay contest.
She writes, ”I won’t talk about my mother. However, I will tell you about my grandmother who is a mother to me.”
Espiritusanto goes on to tell the story of when she was just a child, and her mother left her sister and father for another man when they lived in the Dominican Republic. Her grandmother stepped in and took hold when her family needed it the most.
She earned first place out of 135 essay submissions last weekend in a ceremony at the Austin Street store.
“I wasn’t sure whether to do it or not, but I was just thinking about what I would do for my grandma, and I wanted to do something for her,” Espiritusanto said. “I just thought, let me write from my heart and let’s see what happens.”
What happened last weekend was nothing short of a miracle in her eyes when NY Diamond Boutique general manager Michael Jaye presented Espritusanto with a $795 pearl necklace and bracelet set for her to give to her grandmother for Mother’s Day.
“We’re so happy to have provided some kind of recognition and assurance to Atri that in turn it provides something for her grandmother,” Jaye said before presenting the award. “We didn’t know that it was going to be something that this far reaching, but we wanted to do something that would impact a local high school student.”
Jaye explained his focus of staying involved in the community with a number of outreach programs for the “Toys for Tots” campaign, a canned good food drive for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and fundraiser for Sandy victims.
“Yes we’re business people, but we feel so strongly that business is more than just doing business,” he said.
Startled and in disbelief throughout, Espiritusanto said she still plans to visit her mother one day, however this award is to thank her grandma.
“When she decides to become part of my life, I will visit her,” she said. “She’s still my mother so that will never change, but my grandma is my mom.”