IRON MOUNTAIN - An eighth grader from Iron Mountain Middle School has been named the local winner of the 45th annual America & Me Essay Contest sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.
Miranda Julian will receive an award certificate for the achievement and her name will be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.
Miranda's first place essay now advances to the state level competition, where the top 10 essays in the state will be selected. These winners will be announced in April with each receiving a plaque, medallion and cash award of $1,000. In addition, the top 10 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 include a top Michigan government officials and the sponsoring teachers of last year's top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year.
Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 450 Michigan schools participated in the 2013-14 American & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the contest this year was "My Personal Michigan Hero."
Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan young people to explore the greatness of America and its people. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.