Rachel Herb and Kat Whalen, both 7th graders at were named in the top three winners in the What Kids Can Do graduation speech essay contest.
The national competition asked entrants to answer the question, 'What makes a nation strong?' in light of what is perceived as a decline in our country.
Herb's entry was titled 'Faith and Family,' and she wrote, "our nation isn't strong because of our military, or our government - it's the religion and the people who believe in it."
"What if...we spread the strength to our neighbors? As it keeps spreading, the love and the religion could even get to the whole United States of America, and it would bind us all closer," Herb wrote.
Whalen answered the question with "Freedom, Trust, Equality, and Belief."
"Trust creates a stronger nations. Improvement often require risk-taking, and with that, a safe environment is a necessity," she wrote.
Superintendent Joe Schroeder recognized the students' achievements Monday night during the Muskego-Norway School Board meeting, stating, "It's really quite impressive when two of three national champions come not only from one district, but from the same school."
According to their website, WKCD uses the essay competition in part to "show the power of what young people can accomplish when given the opportunities and supports they need and what they can contribute when we take their voices and ideas seriously."
View the students' submissions here.