By Jon King /

Eighth-grader Alyson Luck of Hartland Middle School at Ore Creek was announced as one of 10 statewide winners in Farm Bureau Insurance’s 2020-2021 America and Me Essay Contest.

The theme of the annual contest is “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Luck’s essay earned 9th place out of approximately 2,000 essays submitted by students from over 200 Michigan schools. In it, she highlighted her three grandparents as her personal heroes who gave her strength and encouragement during the pandemic. “Each of my grandparents stayed positive, kept me in touch, and led by example.”

Luck said while her family isn’t big, they are very close. Yet during quarantine, it was too risky to be together in person. She says he grandparents planned “big birthday party drive-by’s” and socially distanced chats, which she called the highlight of her day. She concluded by saying that she was “so glad” to have the grandparents she does as they “are the reason I came out of the lockdown the way I am, and I wouldn’t change anything."

Developed in 1968 to support Michigan youth as they explore their roles in America's future, the America & Me Essay Contest is open to any eighth-grade student in Michigan, encouraging them to write about their Michigan heroes. As the sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance CEO Don Simon said they are proud to continue their “long tradition of supporting Michigan students and schools” and that they were “all moved, especially this year, by the impressive writings and personal stories share by the student authors.”