Onekama Students Named Essay Contest Winners

Onekama Students Named Essay Contest Winners


L to R: Ajah Fink, Erin Smith, Jake Petrosky
 

Three eighth grade students from Onekama Consolidated Schools have been named local winners in the 48th annual America and Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

 

The three students are Jake Petrosky, first; Erin Smith, second; and Ajah Fink, third. All three received award certificates for their achievement.

 

Jake Petrosky’s first place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $1000. In addition, the top ten essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders, and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor..

 

Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 400 Michigan schools participated in the 2016-2017 contest. The topic of the contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”

 

Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youth to explore the greatness of America and its people. As a sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.

 




LIVING by Jake Petrosky


Now look, I’m still here because of some amazing people. To me these people are heroes. I’ve gotten to know these people, even though I didn’t want to. They have gotten to know me, too. I look up to these people and want to help other people just like they have helped me.

It all started on the morning on March 3, 2013. It was a beautiful morning. My family and I were in Grand Rapids for spring break. We got up at our hotel and had breakfast. We were planning on meet up with my aunt for lunch. She lived just outside of Grand Rapids. I was starting to notice that I did not feel good. I felt like my throat was on fire. So my mom took me to a walk-in-clinic.

The people at the walk-in-clinic were very nice. They started of by taking blood samples. My mom and I waited around for the results. The main doctor came out to us in the waiting room and said, “You need to go to the Hackley Hospital just up the road.” He also said, “We just don’t have to things to do other tests so it is probably best that you go there.” I looked at my mom and I could tell she was scared. Trust me, I was too. So we went over to the other hospital.

The lady at the front desk checked me in. They took us into a room and told us the doctor would be right in to see me. Before the doctor came in, A lady came in and took my blood. After that, the doctor came in and looked me over from head to toe. After he did that, he told us that the blood work should be back in a minute. About 10 minutes later the doctor came back and asked my mom if he could talk with her. At the time I thought he was just telling her that everything came back normal, but no! What happened next would change my life forever.

When she came back into the room, she was in tears. This made me so scared that I almost started crying. She told me the news. At the time I didn’t really get what she was talking about. The doctor came up to me and explained it to me. He said, “Jake you are very sick.” I had cancer, but I didn’t find out what exactly was wrong with me until later that night.

At this point I was bawling my eyes out. My mom went out in the the hall so she could call my aunt. My aunt lived five minutes from the hospital so she came and took my brothers from the hospital. Before my mom and I left the hospital, a lady came up to us and said, “We are going to transfer you over to Devos Children's Hospital.” They told us to not be in any rush.

That night by the time we got to Devos, it was about 10:00. We went to the front desk to check in.They took me up to the ninth floor to my room. After that my nurse came in and started putting an IV in me. The coolest thing about that room was I had a perfect view of the helicopter landing pad. So every time they had to bring someone in by helicopter, I could could watch it. From that point I had some ups and downs, but it all got better. I couldn’t have gotten better if it wasn’t for some amazing people. One of those Amazing people was Dr. Axtel. He was the first doctor I met. He was the one that set up most of my procedures.

Another person the was a big part of my treatment was my nurse, Rebecca. She was there for me every time I had an appointment. She was also the one who always called us if there was something wrong. Rebecca also took care of me when I was having a bad day. Both Dr. Axtel and Rebecca were always there when I needed them. They really are heroes in my book.

The reason I picked these individuals as my heroes is because when you spend three years with someone, they start to feel like family. And, when family does something like save your life, they become your heroes. So to all of my doctors that helped me live on until now: Thank you! I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for you.




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