Santana Loayza, a seventh grade student at Mt. Airy Middle School, was among 20 winners in the 32nd annual 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 EBFF MyTV Baltimore saluting their personal heroes during Black History Month this January and February.
More than 2,500 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. Santana wrote about Carmichell Bell, his fifth grade teacher at Winfield Elementary School.
In addition to sharing their essays on the air during January and February, the finalists will be presented with $100 prizes at an awards breakfast on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 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. Their schools will receive cash awards, sharing the lesson that when an individual achieves, his or 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.