FLINT TWP. — Three students from Carman-Ainsworth Middle School have been named local winners in the 47th annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.
Aarika Hopson, won first place, Brijesh Kumar, placed second and Jordan Martin placed third in awards for their school. Eighth graders from Sandra Cawood’s CAMS English class participated in the contest, writing on the theme “My Personal Michigan Hero.”
Aarika wrote a moving essay, “My Superwoman” about her family’s emotional recovery after the death of her father in December 2013. She named her mother as her personal hero.
Aarika’s first-place essay now advances 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. Also, 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, including 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 400 Michigan schools participated in the 2015- 2016 America & Me Essay Contest.
Started in 1968, and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages young people to explore the greatness of America and its people, according to a Farm Bureau press release. As contest sponsor, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.