Three winners of the eighth annual Hormel Foods MLK essay contest visited the Hormel Foods corporate offices today to read their winning essays to company employees. The students – Patrick Brown from Little Rock, Ark., Blessyn Champ from Minneapolis, Minn., and Ben Kim from Atlanta, Ga. – claimed the top honors among hundreds of entries from 19 different schools this year. Their visit to the corporate office marks the second time the company has invited essay winners in for a reading.
The Hormel Foods African American employee resource group (HAARG) sponsors the essay competition for elementary and middle school students across the United States. Contestants are asked to write an essay with the theme, “What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Means to Me”.
“We are proud to continue this contest for the eighth straight year and to help children across the country learn, interpret and personalize the messages of Dr. King and what it means to them,” said Tommy Swearingen, HAARG president. “There are five winning essays chosen from each school, and today, three of our top-prize winning students were able to read their essays in front of our employees in Austin.”
The competition promotes the value and importance of cultural differences and provides a platform for celebrating diversity. The goals of the program are to promote Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, encourage children to aim high, give them exposure to minority professionals in corporate America and to create a lasting partnership between Hormel Foods and local schools. Elementary and middle schools across the country are invited to join the competition.