Dowagiac Middle School student wins essay contest

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — Three Dowagiac Middle School students have been named local winners in the 55th annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. 

The students have earned first, second and third place awards for their school, with Savannah Kurzhal, placing first, Riley Huff, second and Gabriella Graham, third. All three received award certificates for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, Savannah’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school. 

Dowagiac Middle School’s participation in the America & Me Essay Contest was sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance agent Jeff Neumann of Dowagiac. 

Savannah’s first place 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 $1,055. Farm Bureau Insurance will also be presenting each top ten statewide school with a $1,055 check, along with an additional $555 because a Farm Bureau Insurance agent sponsored the school. 

The traditional annual America & Me Essay Contest Awards Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Lansing. The top 10 students and their teachers from across the state will be invited to participate in the day-long group recognitions. 

Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 200 Michigan schools participated in the 2023 2024 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of this year’s contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Savannah should take considerable pride in advancing to the state level competition. 

A team of finalist judges, including a top Michigan government official as well as the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners, will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year. Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan 8th grade students, the America & Me Essay Contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore the greatness of America and its people. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.