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  • America & Me Essay Contest

  • Farm Bureau Insurance America & Me Essay Contest
  • Winners of the 48th annual America & Me Essay Contest for Michigan Eighth Graders

    The America & Me Essay Contest was founded by Farm Bureau Insurance in 1968 to encourage Michigan youth to explore their roles in America's future. Since then we have shifted our focus slightly to encourage students to write about their personal Michigan heroes—someone they know personally who has encouraged and inspired them to live better and achieve more. Since its inception, over a 500,000 Michigan 8th graders have participated in the contest. The 2016-2017 winners competed against over 4,000 other students from nearly 400 Michigan junior highs and middle schools.

    The student essays for this, the 48th annual contest, were based on the topic, "My Personal Michigan Hero". The final ranking of the winners was determined by a panel of judges comprised of Farm Bureau Insurance’s CEO Jim Robinson; contest founder Jack Stucko; and a teacher of a top ten statewide winner from the 2015-2016 contest year.

    As a contest sponsor, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

    This year’s recipients will each receive a plaque, medallion, and a cash award of $1,000 at an awards banquet in Lansing on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. In addition, finalists will meet with state government leaders, be honored at Cooley Law School Stadium as special guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game, and enjoy a luncheon cruise aboard the Michigan Princess Riverboat on Lansing’s Grand River.

    We are pleased to announce the statewide winners, their rankings, and the school they attend. One of the schools was sponsored by a Farm Bureau Insurance agent, who is listed. As Michigan’s Insurance Company, we proudly salute these outstanding Michigan students.

    First Place: Maria Cheriyan, Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills  
    Second Place: Bradley Holmes, Newaygo Middle School, Newaygo  
    Third Place: Annelise Fluit, Plymouth Christian High School, Grand Rapids  
    Fourth Place: Lindsay Ripple, West Middle School, Plymouth  
    Fifth Place: Ivy Stoller, Grand Rapids Montessori Public School, Grand Rapids  
    Sixth Place: Karter Slayton, Capac Junior High School, Capac  
    Seventh Place: Martha Schaller, Dowagiac Middle School, Dowagiac
    Agent Sponsor: Jeff Neumann
    Eighth Place: Olivia Merkle, Trinity Lutheran School, Monroe  
    Ninth Place: Paige Catlin, Swan Valley Middle School, Saginaw  
    Tenth Place: Madeline Beattie, Trinity Lutheran School, Clinton Township  


    To read this year’s winning essays, click here.

    The next contest begins September 2017.

    Information will be mailed out to all middle schools and junior highs in Michigan and available on our website.



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