Heather Castelli, Pacific High School senior, won a $100 Visa card for her 753-word thesis on how former President Harry Truman would face the current political turmoil.

Titled “Truman Today,” the competition asked students to pick a current issue that challenges our nation and explain how Harry Truman might have addressed it.

Essays were judged on clarity of writing and on how well the thesis was supported.

Castelli saw the former president as a decisive man who took a stern hand that faced him during the tense days following World War II and she felt he would use those same skills to tackle today’s problems.

She believes he would send aid to Syria, in the way of troops, food and medical supplies.

This might not be a popular action with the American public, which seems to be tiring of seeing troops on foreign soil, Castelli said.

But Truman took decisive action when he decided that the United States would support Greece and Turkey economically and militarily with aid so they would not fall to communism.

Truman, who lacked the charisma and popularity of President Franklin Roosevelt, was able to sell his doctrine to citizens, leading Castelli to conclude that if he were in charge today, he would not only act decisively, he would win the support of the public.

“If President Harry S. Truman was alive and in power today, he would send help to Syria in its time of need,” Castelli said, “and then do his best to persuade the citizens of the United States of America to stand behind him and his policies.”