Example Writing #1– Feature Story

The ascending bird-copter flew away leaving the area in silence. Pieces of shrapnel no bigger than a cellphone littered the ground. Chunks of meat lay at every step. It was not just meat, it was human flesh. Joseph Wheaton and his fellow Rangers carefully trekked through the ruins trying to locate any survivors or remains. Wheaton had been searching for ten minutes, with no luck of finding anything, but then he saw something. “It didn’t seem real. It seemed like a mannequin from a clothing store,” Wheaton said. One of the pilots sat dead, still strapped into the seat.

It was the Spring of 2002 and Wheaton was 20 years old. He was a Ranger for the U.S. military stationed in Afghanistan just before the Iraq War. Wheaton was a part of the Quick Reaction Force where if something happened he said, “we are ready to go at a moment’s notice.” One night they got a call that a medical helicopter flew to an Afghanistan City to help a little girl and had tragically crashed. The Rangers were called to go recover the remains, destroy any military equipment before it fell to enemy hands and bring back any bodies. They had also been informed that the Taliban was moving in on the crash site and they needed to beat them there.

Wheaton said, “You’re in the open-air helicopter and everything is cold as ice”. The tension was high during the 45-minute flight. A mini-gun went off, increasing the adrenaline of the Rangers, but it was just a test shot. They were unsure if they would land in the middle of a gun fight. Once they landed, they ran out the back of the helicopter ready for battle. Luckily, there was no enemy to be found in sight. Only the carnage from the tragic accident.

The Rangers now had to recover what they could and destroy what they had to. Wheaton had to get the body out of the pilot seat. It was the first dead US solider he had ever seen. Wheaton said, “I can still see the face 16 years later.” They cut the seatbelt and lifted her body on a stretcher. “It felt liquified,” Wheaton said, “The only thing holding her body together was the flight suit.” He carried her body to the helicopter. He was a strong young man, but it was very difficult carrying her body up the hill. Wheaton said, “For whatever reason, I think dead bodies weigh like three times more than normal bodies, so it just felt like the heaviest thing in the world.”

They had to repeat this process and they stacked the fallen soldiers’ bodies in slots in the bird-copter. “We’re all kind of cramped on the floor, of course it was cramped on the way out and now we’ve got 11 bodies with us,” Wheaton said. The helicopter took off and Wheaton said, “All this blood pooled underneath me.” He put his hand down on the ground to push himself up and blood soaked through his glove. Wheaton said he was, “just soaking in all the blood from the bodies.” Wheaton felt immense guilt. “I was kind of ashamed of what I was thinking at the time,” Wheaton said. Here he was worrying about getting blood all over him, yet these soldiers had just given their lives in support of the US mission in Afghanistan.
When they got back they were getting cleaned up. Wheaton looked at his boots, he said, “It looked like hamburger, just like little chunks of meat stuck in my boots,” and that about ends that day.

Wheaton said, “What made this even crazier… the parents of the female solider that I found, go to church with my mom.” “I don’t know how these connections were made, it’s not like I knew her name, I didn’t recognize her, I didn’t know her,” he said. The couple was talking at church about how their daughter was in Afghanistan and the helicopter crashed. Wheaton’s mom was at the church service and heard them and told them her son was on the mission. The couple wanted to talk to Wheaton, but he said, “I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to them…I just didn’t think I had answers to any questions I thought that they would ask.” “I didn’t think I could bring them any kind of comfort whatsoever…I was so uneasy about talking to these parents who had just lost their child,” he said. He let himself down because he was thinking about himself. He felt pretty ashamed.

Wheaton said he learned valuable life lessons from this experience. Wheaton said, “I am at a point in my life where I have seen so many bad things.” He said about this experience, “it forced me to grow up in the sense of putting others before myself.” He explained that he has always been service minded, but he has really strived to serve and take care of others since this experience. Wheaton said, “I need to make sure that I am at a point where I need to make sure others are taken care of and as comfortable as they can be.” “To really put others before yourself, having made those decisions and lived through that regret, it definitely makes me aware that… I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes,” Wheaton said.

Example Writing #2– Road Trip Story

PROVO— The faded red-brick of the building stands as sturdy and strong as the grey rock mountains behind it. A statue of Brigham Young stands in front as a focal point, a beautiful reminder of the foundations he built and legacy he created. Beside the statue grows two young trees, another reminder of the continued legacy Young left behind.

The Provo Library at Academy Square is a historic building with a great heritage. Erika Hill, the Community Relations Coordinator for the Provo Library, has been going to this library for the past five years and loves how it pulls the community together. Hill said, “I just love community-based things that a library can offer.” It sits among whirring cars, constantly rushing down University Avenue. Yet, as Hill mentioned, it remains a historic symbol and a community builder in the city of Provo. The iridescent windows provide a look into the past and a reflection of the future.

According to the plaque below Young’s statue, the library building originally housed Brigham Young Academy founded by Young in 1875. In 1903, Brigham Young University emerged as well as an upper campus. The buildings at Academy Square slowly became vacant. Academy Square became a downtown eyesore. In 1994 and 1995, Provo City purchased the Square. A six-year project then turned the old academy building into a library and was finished in the summer of 2001. Still to this day, carved across the stone archway to the building is “B.Y. Academy.”

Upon entering the library building, visitors encounter seemingly endless amounts of information and directions to go. As Hill said, “There is usually something happening here every day.” To either side sits winding wooden staircases leading to an upper floor. On the walls of the second floor, hang many historical pictures. Three large portraits feature important historical figures to the heritage of this building and to the neighboring university.

The first painting shows Karl G. Maeser. From the plaque one can read Maeser was the first principal at Brigham Young Academy. The next painting is of Benjamin Cluff, Jr. who was the first principal of BYU. The third and final painting pictures George H. Brimhall, who served as the second principal of BYU.

The second floor also features a life-size statue of Abraham Owen Smoot. The plaque beside the bronze statue, tells of Smoot’s accomplishments. Smoot served as a husband, bishop, president, mayor, developer of the Woolen Mills, The Smoot Drug Store, the Smoot Lumber Company, the Cooperative Institution, and the First National Bank in Provo. He also is responsible for building the Provo Tabernacle, now the Provo City Center Temple and the Academy building, now the library.

The winding staircases go up to the third floor. The third floor features several pictures portraying the journey of the early Latter-day Saints who settled Utah Valley. There are pictures of handcarts and early pioneers. There is a big glass window with a beautiful lookout of the mountains and the sky. Most of the third floor are rooms closed off to the public, with exemptions for special events. Venturing up to the fourth floor by elevator, one finds what is called, the Attic. The Attic features different events. Currently, the fourth-floor exhibits pictures from a Natural Geographic, featuring the Old West.

The top floors more predominantly show the library’s historic nature, but the bottom floors hold the future. The Mary Stuart Rogers library wing sits below a beautiful white stained-glass mosaic of three beautiful birds. The stained glass is a symbol of old, that infuses with new ideas and new concepts assuredly being learned within the library walls. The lower floor to the Rogers wing is a family-friendly place to study and to check out a plethora of available content including: books, audiobooks, movies, and music CDs. It is a place of learning. Going up the staircase in the back of the lower level, one finds the upper level. The upper level is filled with old, newspapers, magazines, and historical artifacts. It is also the silent floor, so a majority of what goes on upstairs is studying.

The bottom floor also contains the children’s library. The children’s library begins with welcoming glass shelves filled with books and toys on display. The room itself is exploding in bright colors and an environment to cultivate young minds. This is the future. The education of young kids is now the legacy this historic building provides. Children of all ages sit to read, learn, and enjoy.

Hill explained that the library also holds special events for the community. Posters hung up on various walls told of events such as: family crafts, story time, an acapella group, and many other things. Hill said, “There is so much more than books.”


Natalie Janes

    BYU Freshman


May, 2018 Graduation from Skyline High School, Mesa AZ. G.P.A. 4.161, class rank: 24/608

December 2018 completed one semester of BYU. Total GPA: 3.89


-organized -responsible -timely

-caring -considerate -good writer

-obedient -curious -dependable

-loyal -courageous -smart

-loves to talk to people -good speaker


November 2012-present: various babysitting jobs for friends and neighbors

June 2015- End of July 2015: Volunteer Junior Lifeguard at Skyline Aquatic Center. Duties include: cleaning windows, shadowing lifeguards, cleaning up pool facility, and preparing to be a lifeguard.

October 2015-present: Part-time employee at Butterfly Petals Floral. Duties include: creating floral arrangements, setting up and tearing down wedding and events, customer service, shop clean up and preparation.

May 2016-August 2016: Assistant Fashion consultant for Afton Welker, a Lula Roe Fashion Consultant. Duties include: sorting clothing and packaging for shipments

May 2017-present: Mesa Aquatic Lifeguard, swim instructor, and Assistant swim coach.  Duties include: guarding water, tending to patrons’ injuries, teaching swim lessons, making lesson plans, customer service, attending trainings and in-services, cleaning and maintaining facility, coaching swim team various groups from ages 4-17, attending and helping at swim meets.

-Spring 2018 promotion to Assistant swim coach

-taught Fall swim lessons 2017 and Spring swim lessons 2018 at Skyline Pool (extra than just the summer lessons)

-taught Water Exercise class at Skyline Pool October 2017


NHS Member- 2015, 2016, and 2017

Choir Council Moral officer- 2016-2017 (plan parties and help boost morale in choir) -chaired Holiday Banquet Concert (decorated and set up, organized food, made sure everything was squared away).

Choir President- 2017-present (Organize fundraisers, hold and lead meetings, organize concerts and write concert scripts, make purchase orders for trips, be in charge of themes)

We the People Moral officer- 2017-present (design shirts, plan outings, boost morale)

Leo Club member of Board of Directors- 2016-2017

Leo Club President- 2017-present

Winner of scholarship to attend 1st Annual USA/Canada Leo Leadership Forum in New York and then attended in August 1st through 6th of 2017

Council Member of the 1st USA/Canada Leo Council (representative for Arizona)- August 2017-present (have conference calls and plan next years’ forum, plan classes and topics, and arrange things)

Winner of Scholarship to attend and attended HOBY leadership conference in Arizona, summer of 2016

Spanish II Academic Award for 2014-2015 school year

Algebra II Academic Award for 2015-2016 school year

CP Chemistry Academic Award for 2015-2016 school year

Honor Roll both semester for all four years of High School

Winner of Skyline High School Poetry Contest 2016

“Instructor of the Year”- Mesa Aquatic Complex summer 2017 (assigned pool for the summer)

“Instructor of the Year”- Mesa Aquatic Complex summer 2018 (assigned pool for the summer)

Completed Guard of Excellence Program for the City of Mesa summer 2018

Completed Management Academy for the City of Mesa 2018

We the People team got first place at the District competition and then 3rd Place at the State competition. 2018

Advanced choir got excellent and superior ratings at every festival all four years of participation 2015-present

1st counselor in my church group Laurel class presidency (helps plan youth activities as well as service to class members) 2016-present

Counselor at church girls camp 2017 (helped plan and run the summer camp for girls of church youth)   

Ward Congregation Music Chorister for my church winter 2017-present (conduct congregation in hymns every Sunday for sacrament services and it’s all volunteer)

Stake youth church choir member 2017-2018

Member of ward church choir 2016-2018

Student Aid for Aerobics 2017-2018(lead girls in warm ups and stretches, helps organize workouts, runs errands, etc.)

Student Aid for Advanced Women’s Chorus 2017-2018 (student conductor, helps warm them up, sings with them, runs errands.)

Participation in AMEA Regional Choir as 1st Alternate- 2016

Ward Choir Director for my church September-December 2018

Community Service Activities

  • Chairing project to make and sell cancer bracelets for a Skyline office member with Cancer. All of the proceeds were donated to a lady in our administration who has cancer- 20 hours
  • Collecting, cleaning, and sorting eyeglasses to send to third world countries- 15 hours
  • Total Leo service hours for 2016-2017 school year: 70 (includes: making cancer bracelets, attending meetings, cleaning eyeglasses, Science tech Expo, Homecoming Carnival Booth, attending Lion meeting, helping out with Charter night, Holiday food drive, and many others).
  • Junior Lifeguard Volunteer- 116 hours
  • Various Church service projects (Temple service, youth group projects like: pulling weeds, making cookies for neighbors, writing nice letters, babysitting children, packaging kits for the homeless, visiting retirement homes, visiting church members, singing in church choir, giving sermons, leading the music at church, family history) 300+ hours.
  • Chairing Holiday food drive project for Leo Club- 10 hours (making and decorating boxes, collecting and donating food, keeping track of others’ Leo hours, etc.)
  • Hours counted thus far for Leo year 2017-2018- 80 hours (includes: Freshman boot camp recruitment (bringing in 3 students), pre-school year planning, Homecoming Carnival Booth, Club Day recruitment (bringing in at least 10 interests), helping out with Re-charter night, attending Lion’s meetings, singing National Anthem for Leisure World Lion’s Veteran’s Day Breakfast, attending and leading Leo meetings, fundraising planning, and many more).
  • Caroling to Retirement homes and also Elementary and Junior High Schools for choir December through January, Christmas 2015, 2016, and 2017- 40+hours
  • Hours earned for NHS service projects (both documented and un-documented (Walk for the Homeless, Unicef trick or treating, Homecoming booth, Relay for Life, and many more)- 50 hours
  • Hours for Leo Council Member meetings- 6 hours (planning, making promotion videos, taking to Leos about the forum, etc.)
  • Singing in various church choirs- 40+ hours
  • Student Aid hours for 2017-2018 school year (undocumented) 100 hours.