A few months ago we entered a contest to win a concert with Justin Bieber.  Entering this contest we thought only the less fortunate would benefit from this.  We had no clue we would come this far. 

Day after day we would sit outside of grocery stores asking shoppers to donate food. The food collection was for a contest conducted last year by radio station WXRK-FM, known as 92.3 NOW. We searched our homes and saved up our allowances just to buy canned food.  We dedicated our time, money, and social lives just to help this cause.  The whole experience brought Long Beach Middle School together.  It opened our eyes to be thankful for how fortunate we are.  Toward the end of the contest, we thought there was no chance of winning, but we still worked hard and tried to stay positive.

We had so much support and many donations from our friends and Long Beach Middle School staff.  We wouldn’t have had this opportunity if we didn’t have our school secretary, Mrs. Nivens, by our side.  She persuaded our principal to allow us to enter the contest.  She inspired us to work as hard as we could for the less fortunate families when we had no hope. 

In the end, after all our hard work we put in, we raised more than 27,000 pounds of canned food that was shipped to a local food drive.  When we found out that we also won a contest with Justin Bieber at Long Beach Middle School, we had tears of joy.  We had no idea we were capable of reaching this goal.  Our hard work paid off.  This made us realize that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

Kidsday reporters meet Justin at the concert

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Teen pop star Justin Bieber at Long Beach Middle School where he performed for the winners of the food drive competition. Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

It was the best day ever! I got to meet Justin Bieber at a news conference today because I’m a reporter for the Long Beach Middle School Newspaper Club. I asked him, “Who was your biggest inspiration as a child?” Of course, his answer was Michael Jackson. After the news conference, he performed in our auditorium. During the concert, he sang “You Smile,” “One Time,” “Never Let Me Go,” “Starting the Moment” and “Baby.” During one of his songs he stared right at me! I loved it! It was the best time I ever had.
— Stephanie Silberman, Age 11, Lido Beach

Wow! I got to meet Justin Bieber in person! It was an amazing experience. After we got pulled out of class, we waited for one hour, with our teacher and one of the newspaper writers from Long Beach High School, to interview him. I was very anxious to see him. I asked him, “Why did you decide to start a contest for the most amount of food donated?” He said that it was because a lot of people go without food during the holiday season. He also wanted to get kids involved. He was so nice to us. During the concert he sang five amazing songs. He’s so talented. I thought it was an amazing concert and I will never forget the experience.
— America Muratori, Age 11, Point Lookout

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