Genesee Health Plan announces winners of Fifth Annual Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests

FLINT — Genesee Health Plan (GHP) today announced the winners of its Fifth Annual Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests, sponsored by Sovita Credit Union.

“We received a record number of entries in our Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “We appreciate the teachers and parents who took the time to help their children understand the current health crisis and to encourage them to reflect on how their personal and family health history impacts their overall health outcomes and future.”

GHP awarded $1,500 scholarships to Joslynn Ridley of Goodrich High School and Breanna Trecha of Fenton High School through its Health Care Career Scholarship Contest. The two high school seniors submitted essays about the health career they plan to pursue and why, the importance of good health, their goals and the impact they hope to make in their chosen field.

“Health care has never been more important, and we will always need health care professionals,” Ridley said. “I plan to go to the University of Michigan-Flint to become a doctor specializing in pediatric rheumatology or become a physician assistant. When I was 14, I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and that was challenging because my passion is ballet. However, despite the challenge, my hospital experience has led me to what I want to do in life.”

“I plan to pursue a career in pharmaceutical science research, where I will be doing research to design, synthesize and develop pharmaceutical drugs,” Trecha said. “A few of my family members were diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease that can cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. I was diagnosed as a carrier for the disease. With a Pharmaceutical Science degree from the University of Toledo, I believe I can make a difference to help people who are suffering and one day be part of the cure that will end the fight against MD.”

Elementary (grades 5 and 6 only), middle/junior high school and high school students who entered the contest wrote essays about their family health history and their current and future health. The contest winners were:

Elementary (grades 5 and 6 only)

First Place ($200 gift card): Olivia Vance, homeschooled, 6th Grade

Second Place ($100 gift card): Evelyn Eickholt of Flushing, 5th Grade

Middle/Junior High School

First Place ($200 gift card): Kennedy Byrd, Genesee Christian School, 8th Grade

Second Place: ($100 gift card):

Azalea McNair, Grand Blanc Middle School, 7th Grade

Karlie Roseberry, Davison Middle School, 8th Grade

High School

First Place ($400 gift card): Bianca Ramo, Grand Blanc High School, 11th Grade

Second Place ($200 gift card): Diamond Richardson, Grand Blanc High School, 11th Grade

The contest also provided an opportunity for teachers to participate for the chance to win prizes. The winning teachers were:

Ms. McNair-Levi, teacher at Grand Blanc High School ($400 gift card)

Mrs. Pearl Rosenmund, teacher at Powers Catholic High School ($300 gift card)

“We are honored to support Genesee County students and families, as well as Genesee Health Plan, by sponsoring this year’s essay contest,” said Jen Shew, Sovita Credit Union Director of Marketing. “The name ‘Sovita’ celebrates the life of the community and these bright students are the next generation of Genesee County leaders. We are also proud to support Genesee County teachers, who have been working hard to ensure their students continue to learn and grow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” — G.G.