Gerald R. Ford High School Essay Challenge, 2011

YouTube link of event.

Top Three Essays
Emilee Ritz

Emilee Ritz
Forest Hills Northern High School
12th Grade

The Score

My teammates and I stood in front of the scoreboard and calculated our total. Our numbers were good, but would they be good enough? This was the Conference championship — the big one. Our goal was to win, and I understood that my score would be vital for our success. The competition was fierce; the trophy would not be handed to us easily... <read more>

Steven Jakubowski

Stephen A. Jakubowski
Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
10th Grade

Grit and Integrity

Integrity. The word carries a powerful aura about it, a feeling of strength and staunch morality, of nobility and wholesomeness. Integrity, upon initially examining it, appears foreign and unattainable, an abstract concept too great to be understood and internalized. It sits on a pedestal as a value for the titans of history, a value for the Abraham Lincolns and the Winston Churchills of the world... <read more>

John Veldkamp

John Veldkamp
Calvin Christian High School
9th Grade

Holding the Line

Football is one of America’s most popular sports. Like many sports, it not only entertains, it also teaches important life lessons. Too often, the media seems to focus on negative stories about football players. Recent stories have reported that dozens of college football players illegally accepted money from agents. But many other football players have shown integrity both on and off the field... <read more>

Honorable Mentions:

Read Rebekah Karel's essayRebekah Karel Read Karla J. Perez's essayKarla Perez Read Emily Prins' essayEmily Prins


Twelve Finalists and their essays (pdf):

Justin Anderson
Jake Bordeaux
Nikki Eschman
Serena Gale-Butto
Colin Grogan
Georgiana Hill
Zachary Horn
Kathryn Lee
Maria Del Rosario
Jacqueline T. Thelen
Hannah Van Dyke
Maggie Weighner