Local students take home honors in America & Me Essay Contest

ESCANABA — Six local students, three from Gladstone Middle School and three from Holy Name Catholic School, have been named local winners in the 49th annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The three students who earned the first, second and third place awards for Gladstone are Alexis Litts, Giovannie Matthews, and Samantha Strasler respectively. From Holy Name, the winners were Allison Korpi, first, Vanessa LaPalm, second, and Abigail Rexford, third. All of the students received award certificates for their achievements. As first place winners, Litts’ and Korpi’s named will be engraved on plaques for permanent display in their schools.

Gladstone Middle School’s and Holy Name Catholic School’s participation in the America & Me Essay Contest was sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Rick Jensen of Escanaba.

Litts and Korpi’s first place essays will not advance to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion, and a cash award of $1,000. In addition, the top ten essayists 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 ten statewide winners this year.

Several thousand eighth grade students from over 350 Michigan schools participated in the 2017-2018 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2017-2018 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”

Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore the greatness of America and its people. As a sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.