Congratulations to our 2020 essay contest winners!


We received over 40 entries into the 2020 National Rural Health Day Essay contest from across the Upper Peninsula. We are thrilled to share this year's winners. To read their winning essays, click on the students' respective names in the list below.

Eastern Region Winners

  1. Kaylin Burton - $500
  2. Joseph Erbetta - $250
  3. Catherine Roelant - $100

Central Region Winners

  1. Abbey Leinonen - $500
  2. Madison Balko - $250
  3. Kiana Schuettpelz-Cornelius - $100


About the Contest


In celebration of this year’s National Rural Health Day, recognized on November 19th, the Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health and the Michigan Center for Rural Health (Michigan's State Office of Rural Health) partnered to extend an opportunity to all high school seniors who reside and attend school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. High school seniors who are college/university bound in fall 2021 and intend to pursue a healthcare career were invited to participate in this essay contest.

Each participant wrote an essay identifying two challenges people encounter when it comes to preventative health care in their rural region of the Upper Peninsula and then explained two solutions for overcoming these challenges.

A special thank you to the agencies sponsoring this essay contest.

Their generous contributions allow this opportunity to be extended in multiple regions throughout the U.P.: The Michigan Center for Rural Health, Superior Health Foundation, UP Area Health Education Center and Portage Health Foundation.

» Learn more about National Rural Health Day