President Gerald R. Ford Essay Challenge past winners

2020 WinnersRead all essays from Winners & Finalists
View photos of the 2020 Winners and Finalists
First Place: Isabel Gil, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Second Place: Lillian Van Gelderen, Hart High School
Third Place: Harlie Choponis, Hart High School
Finalist: Megan Grant, Newaygo High School
Finalist: Nina Lu, City High Middle School
Finalist: Ethan Magley, City High Middle School
Finalist: Carter Meyer, Grand Rapids Christian HS
Finalist: Kandace Pewee, Grand Rapids Christian HS
Finalist: Melanie TenElshof, Plymouth Christian HS
Finalist: Sabra Wolven, Newaygo High School
Out-of-State Award Winner: Jada Hall, St. Georges Technical High School

2019 Winners
View photo from the 2019 awards program
First Place: Caroline Kuntzman, Forest Hills Northern High School
Second Place: Megan Grant, Newaygo High School
Third Place: Ben Joppich, Catholic Central High School
Honorable Mention: Cecilia Botta, City High/Middle School
Honorable Mention: Cassandra DeVries, Providence Christian School
Honorable Mention: Danielle Fedrigo, Grand Rapids Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Josephine Koch, Forest Hills Northern High School
Honorable Mention: Katie Townley, Byron Center High School
Honorable Mention: Colton Powell, St. Johns High School
Honorable Mention: Brandon Walker, Wyoming High School
Out-of-State Award Winner: Mason Chandler, Spring Branch Texas

2018 Winners 
View photos from the 2018 awards program

First Place: Aneeqa Hasan, Forest Hills Central High School
Second Place: Melanie Roelofs, Plymouth Christian High School
Third Place: Aunner Calderon, Union High School
Honorable Mention: Megan Grant, Newaygo Public High School
Honorable Mention: Emily LaRue, Grand Rapids Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Tina Nguyen, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Honorable Mention: Ryann Reese, Ferndale High School
Top Finalist Award: Suki Rajan, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Top Finalist Award: Landyn Teachout, Grandville High School
Top Finalist Award: Reian Zhang, City High Middle School
Out-of-State Award Winner: Carrie Hathaway, Geneseo Middle/High School

2017 Winners
View photo from the 2017 awards program
First Place: Daisy Hagen, 11th Grade, Newaygo High School
Second Place: Maya Trowe, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Third Place: Deena Hoffman, 12th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School

2016 Winners 
View photo from the 2016 awards program

First Place: Madison Goen, 12th Grade, Kenowa Hills High School
Second Place: Benjamin Rozema, 11th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Third Place: Lois Biggs, 12th Grade, Forest Hills High School
Honorable Mention: Hannah Baird, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Honorable Mention: Sarah Baxter, 10th Grade, Catholic Central High School
Honorable Mention: Deena Hoffman, 11th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Elliott Hoogerland, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Honorable Mention: Bethany Morse, 11th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Emily VanderBerg, 12th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School

2015 Winners
First Place: Elizabeth Dykens, 10th Grade, Home School
Second Place: Kendra Kunst, 11th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Third Place: Anthony DeWitte, Calvin Christian High School

2014 Winners
First Place: Michael Aaberg, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Northern High School
Second Place: Kallen Schwark, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Northern High School
Third Place: Arika Sporte, 12th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School

2013 Winners
First Place: Olivia McLean, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Second Place: Olivia Marie Rice, 12th Grade, Schoolcraft High School
Third Place: Brooklyn Wilson, 9th Grade, Grand Rapids Catholic Central

2012 Winners
First Place: Grady Sertic, 12th Grade, Portage Central High School
Second Place: Samantha Kay Dickson, 11th Grade, Allendale High School
Third Place: Sarah Hartlieb, 12th Grade, Schoolcraft High School

2011 Winners
First Place: Emilee Ritz, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Northern High School
Second Place: Steve Jakubowski, 10th Grade, Catholic Central High School
Third Place: John Veldkamp, 9th Grade, Calvin Christian High School

2010 Winners
First Place: Martha Veldkamp, 12th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Second Place: Sara DenBraber, 9th Grade, Catholic Center High School
Third Place: Rachel McDaniel, 12th Grade, Allegan High School

2009 Winners
First Place: Steven Harwood, 12th Grade, Northview High School
Second Place: Sarah Legault, 11th Grade, Forest Hills Northern High School
Third Place: Joanna Chen, 11th Grade, Forest Hills Northern High School

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