Warner Norcross announces this year's winners of its MLK Essay Contest

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has announced the results of its 11th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest.

The contest, which was open to all sixth-graders at Grand Rapids Public Schools, asked students to prepare an essay on one of three topics. Students were given the opportunity to discuss the importance of equal rights in society, a conversation they might have with Dr. King or the impact a quote from Dr. King – other than one from his famous “I Have a Dream” speech – had on their life. This year’s competition received 297 entries from students at 10 schools.

The winners are:

Twanyea Smith, Riverside Middle School - grand prize

Dayshawn Fields, Riverside Middle School - first runner-up

Niko Hinzmann, Center for Economicology - second runner-up

Kanyia Brown, Riverside Middle School - second runner-up

Each winning student will receive a certificate of deposit and a gift card to Schuler Books and Music.  Additionally, 20 students from five schools received honorable mention recognition. They each will receive a gift card to Schuler Books and Music.

Smith has been invited to read the top-winning essay at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Peace Program on Monday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.  The event will be held at the Grand Rapids Community College Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse. All winners and honorable mention recipients are invited to attend and will be recognized as a group.

The four winners will be given an opportunity to read their essays at the GRPS Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, if time permits. Warner Norcross Diversity Partner Rodney Martin will be in attendance to introduce the winners.

The winning essays can currently be found on the Warner Norcross diversity website by visiting http://diversity.wnj.com.

Essays were judged by more than 50 Warner Norcross attorneys and staff according to Michigan Education Assessment Program guidelines for narrative writing.

The essays were evaluated for ideas, organization, style and conventions.