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My Hero, My Friend

by Demarus Jackson, Riverside Middle School, second runner-up

Winners of the 2015 MLK Essay Contest

A record 327 essays were entered for the 10th annual Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest earlier this year. School News Network is publishing the three winning submissions selected.

The winners were:

Each winning student will receive a certificate of deposit and a gift card to Schuler Books and Music. Additionally, 22 students from five schools received honorable mention recognition. They each will receive a gift card to Schuler Books and Music.

The essays were judged by more than 50 Warner Norcross attorneys and staff according to Michigan Education Assessment Program guidelines for narrative writing. The essays were evaluated for ideas, organization, style and conventions.

My definition of a hero is someone who helps people. Dr. King fits this definition because he did help people by trying to stop segregation. My friend Brent is also a hero but in a different way. He helps me with homework and he helps me with many other things. We are different races, but I think Dr. King would like that. Wasn’t that his whole point right from the very beginning?

I’ve known Brent ever since the first grade. He stepped into my life when I was 6.

I was riding down a hilly street and found out I didn’t know how to use my brakes very well. As I cleared my head after crashing into a tree, I looked up and saw a kid standing there. He came up to me and said, “Hey, you ok?” I told him I thought so and that my wheel was messed up. Then I said, “Can you teach me how to ride a bike?” He said he could. He told me his name was Brent and he helped me get up.

The first two times he helped, I hit a couple of things, but on the 3rd time I learned how to ride a bike. That is how we became friends, and still are to this day. It was fun to have a new friend. I am glad that he is my best friend and we continue to help each other out. Heroes don’t need to wear a special outfit; they just need to be there when we crash.

Dr. King saved lots of people from being treated wrong with the words he used in his speeches. He said, “I Have a Dream…” which was helpful because it brought lots of people together. Even though we come from different backgrounds and look different, Brent and I get along. Dr. King would like him being my friend because he has taught me what the true meaning of hero is. Sometimes hero can be spelled F-r-i-e-n-d.

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