2018 Essay Contest Winners Announced

Each year, the United Way’s Special Events committee hosts an essay contest for grades 9-12 for Maconaquah, North Miami and Peru High Schools. The topic of the 2018 United Way Essay contest was, “59% of families residing in Peru struggle to make ends meet daily. If I were given a chance to identify and improve a problem in my community, I would…” 

ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households are a vital part of our community and this population is growing.  ALICE adults hold jobs that are critical to the success of our community—like child care workers, teachers, home health aides, truck drivers, store clerks, and receptionists.  They work hard to care for their families but struggle to pay everyday bills.  These people may work minimum wage jobs full time but are unable to save any money. Consider how everyday expenses may be handled by ALICE households, then consider unexpected expenses.

A.  Describe the challenges you foresee ALICE families facing and how these challenges hurt the community as a whole. (What happens when an unexpected car repair or a child is ill and cannot attend daycare occurs?-describe other potential problems) B.  How can our community better support ALICE families? (Design a plan to implement changes identified.)

This year, Maconaquah High School submitted 210 essay entries, North Miami School 11, and Peru High School 360 entries. The United Way’s Special Event committee judged a total of 581 entries.

The first place winners in each age group received a large pizza and a $10 gift card from the Casey’s General Store. The second place winners each received a $10 card from Casey’s General Store and the overall winner received a $100 gift certificate from Miami County Chamber of Commerce.  

Congratulations to this year’s first place winners: Cate Wolfe, Peru; Emilei Russell, Peru; Austin White, Maconaquah; Mcale Nethercutt

This year’s second place winners were: Elizabeth Pennington, Maconaquah; Kamon Blog, Peru; Abby Shrock, Maconaquah; Jeana Friedersdorf, Maconaquah

The overall winner chosen by the Special Events committee was Cate Wolfe from Peru High School Congratulations to all the participants!

The United Way of Miami County would like to extend a special thank you to Casey’s General Store and Miami County Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this year’s essay contest.

United Way of Miami County

Special Events Committee 

download @//sites/uwmiamip.org/files/Cate%20Wolfe.pdf

download @/sites/uwmiamip.org/files/Emilei%20Russell.pdf

download @/sites/uwmiamip.org/files/Austin%20White.pdf



1st place 9th grade: Cate Wolfe - Peru High School ( #161 entries)

1st place 10th grade: Emilei Russell Peru High School (#144 entries)

1st place 11th grade: Austin White - Maconaquah High School (#146 entries)

1st place 12th grade: Mcale Nethercutt - Maconaquah High School (#130 entries)

Overall winner: Cate Wolfe - Peru High School


Total Entries: 581

Maconaquah: 210

North Miami: 11

Peru High School: 360