MUSKEGON, Mich. (WLNS) – An eighth-grader in Montague placed among the top five winners of a statewide contest with her essay on her personal hero: Her uncle, who is fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis as a nurse.
Morgan Crawford, a student at Nellie B. Chisholm Middle School in Montague, was announced as the fourth place-winner in the annual statewide Farm Bureau Insurance’s America and Me Essay Contest, according to a news release issued by the contest.
The theme of this year’s essay contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Crawford won fourth place out of about 3,500 submissions with an essay about her uncle, who is a registered nurse at Mercy Health in Muskegon and donated a kidney to Crawford’s mother.
“My Uncle Matt is selfless and brave,” Crawford wrote in the essay. “His heart is overflowing with selfless acts, and I hope he realizes that I am beyond blessed that he is not only my uncle, but my hero. He inspires me to go above and beyond and to help when I am able to, even when it’s difficult to do.”
Crawford wrote that in 2011, her mother was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and needed a kidney transplant. Her uncle tested himself to determine if he was a candidate to donate a kidney, and when he found out that he was, Crawford wrote that she was “stoked.”
“There are not enough words to express how appreciative I am of what my uncle did,” she wrote in the essay.
Created in 1968, the Farm Bureau Insurance essay competition is open to any eighth-grade student in Michigan and is meant to encourage students to explore their roles in America’s future, according to the release.
“Farm Bureau is proud to support Michigan students and schools around the state through the America & Me Essay Contest,” said Farm Bureau Insurance CEO Don Simon in a released statement. “Each year, we are impressed and moved as these student authors share personal stories of their local Michigan heroes.”
About 3,500 essays were submitted this year by students from over 350 schools in Michigan, the release said.
The top 10 contest winners will receive a cash award of $1,000, as well as a matched $1,000 donation to their school. Nellie B. Chisholm Middle School will receive an additional $500 because it is sponsored by a Farm Bureau Insurance agent, the release said.
Crawford will also receive a personalized plaque and medallion, and a copy of her winning essay printed in metal.
This article is adapted from MLive.