Chloe Swagger, a 7th grade student at West Middle School, and Uchechi Mba, an 8th grade student at Sykesville Middle School, were among 20 winners in the Champions of Courage Black History Month Essay Competition sponsored by M&T Bank.  The students will appear on WBFF-TV FOX 45, WNUV-TV The CW Baltimore, and MyTV Baltimore saluting their personal heroes during Black History Month this January and February.   

More than 3000 entries were received from middle and high schools throughout the Baltimore metro area.   The competition challenged students in grades 6-12 to write a brief essay saluting their personal “Champion of Courage” – a positive role model who has touched their lives by sharing the teachings of Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr.  Swagger’s essay saluted her 7th grade ELA teacher, Marian Davis, as her champion.  Mba wrote about her 5th grade ELA teacher.

Each student essayist will be honored and presented with a $100 prize at an Awards Breakfast on January 26th at Martin’s West.    At the breakfast, the top three essayists will be announced and will be presented with additional awards for their individual effort.   In addition, their schools will receive cash awards in their honor, sharing the lesson that when an individual achieves, his/her community benefits. 

“Champions of Courage” is designed to commemorate Black History Month by celebrating positive role models for youth.   The essay competition provides an opportunity for students to participate in a scholastic competition, to gain confidence in their abilities, and to be recognized for their achievement.   “Champions of Courage” also serves to share with one and all the legacy and teachings of Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr.




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