When he heard the words, “Miami, Florida,” 10-year-old Jalani Taylor held his hands to his mouth and began hopping up and down in his seat, trying to control his excitement after he was named a winner in the NAGI Jewelers Mother’s Day Essay Contest.

“She’s going to be so happy, she’s going to hug me so tight,” Jalani said. The Stamford boy received a bracelet for his mom for his winning essay. The other two winners were Jack Yuen and Isan Spruill. More than 200 students participated in the essay contest. Each had to share their best trip, funniest moment, lesson learned, best advice and what they admire most about their mother.

Jalani’s favorite trip with his mother was to Miami, and his funniest moment was when she broke the heel of her shoe and almost fell. Jack’s mother taught him to never lie because you will never be trusted. The best advice Isan received from his mother was to stand up for himself. 

NAGI Jewelers has held the annual contest for third- and fourth-graders at Westover Magnet School since the oldest child of Nagi Osta, the owner of NAGI Jewelers, was a student of the Stamford elementary school. Even after his three children have graduated from the school, he continues the tradition at the request of the teachers.

“They love it, look how happy they are,” Osta said, watching all the smiles on the faces of teachers and students in the Westover cafeteria during the short ceremony.

He said it is important for kids to show their appreciation for their parents. “What they wrote will be on the fridge Sunday morning."

What did you do for your mother on Sunday? What are your favorite memories with her?