Earning the first-place award was Carolina Brooks of Grand Haven. Chase Slikkers was second and Daisy Meza took third.
As the first-place winner, Brooks will have her name engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.
Brooks’ winning essay now advances to the state-level competition, from which the top 10 essays in Michigan will be selected.
The top 10 statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $1,000. In addition, they will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.
A team of finalist judges that includes a top Michigan government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year.
Several thousand eighth-grade students from more than 350 Michigan schools participated in the 2017-18 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”
Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth-graders, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore the greatness of America and its people. As the sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.