April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It serves as a reminder that thriving families depend on strong support systems. Support can come from family, friends, neighbors, or... Someone Special Essay Contest Winners Announced

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It serves as a reminder that thriving families depend on strong support systems. Support can come from family, friends, neighbors, or others in the community, but everyone has a role to play to help keep children safe.

The Grant County, Child Protection Team, sponsored its annual essay contest to give third through eighth-grade students the opportunity to highlight someone they see as a role model in our area. Winning writers in the 2023 Someone Special Essay Contest: Braxton Boerger, Emmet Snaza, Kenadee Mueller, Jose Sanchez, Hayden Storm, and Emmett Schuelke. 

The winning essays in their entirety:

Someone Special Essay
By: Hayden Storm
Third Grade – 2022-2023

My Grandma Heather is very special to me. She lives in Milbank, SD. She works at Storm Insurance. She is my Dad’s mom. She is 46 years old and lives with my Grandpa Cody. My grandma is really strong because she is battling colon cancer. She is tough, strong, and special to me because she is
always by my side. She makes up funny jokes. She always jokes around when I win an Old Maid game. I love that we laugh a lot
When I’m at Grandma’s house we play CandyLand, Uno, and Old Maid. Grandma sometimes bakes her homemade cookies, and we watch movies. She sometimes makes her homemade brownies too. We have muffins and pancakes, and my brother has cereal. When we watch movies, we usually
watch Frozen 1 or Frozen 2.
We go to the swimming pool together and we usually swim for two to three hours. Then we go to her house, and we play Old Maid. When my brother and grandpa are playing catch in the living room, we sit in the kitchen and do crafts. Sometimes we watch a movie after supper when we stay overnight. Then in the middle of the movie we have popcorn. For all of these reasons, I think my grandma is very special. I look forward to all of the time we spend together. My favorite thing to do with her is watch movies.

Someone Special Essay
By: Olivia Mueller
Fourth Grade – 2022-2023

My special someone is my sister. My sister is probably one of the
coolest people I know. She is always there for me when I don’t know
who to talk to. I feel like I could never make it through any problem
without her help. She is so funny in any situation. Even in the roughest
times in my life, I can’t think of any time she wasn’t there for me. She
gives me the best jet-ski rides; better than anyone I know. We always
have our moments, but I always know she still loves me. Her smile can
light up any room and always does. She is my role model and always
will be.
Now that I have shared what makes my sister special, I will talk
about some experiences I have had with the best person I know. The
countless times we have gone snowmobiling and fallen off the sled to
falling off the jet-ski. The list could go on about the small stories. But
here are the most memorable ones. A story I can remember is when
my sister and I were playing outside and licking ice that froze. While
she was licking one her tongue got stuck. We rushed into the house to
tell my mom. My mom got it off, but it was pretty funny. Another funny
time was when we were playing tennis and she got a ball stuck on the
roof. My dad was mad for days after that. The last story I can
remember was when me and her were playing in the snow and saw cars
coming. We quickly made up a game and it lasted for hours.
As you can se my sister is special for so many reasons inside and

Someone Special Essay
By: Jose Sanchez
Fifth Grade – 2022-2023

I chose my grandpa because he is very special to me and my family. My grandpa is not related to me, but he adopted me. I still have my real parents and my real grandparents, but this grandpa took us in when we moved to America. My grandpa’s name is Doug Bury. He is 74 and was born on April 24, 1948, in Ortonville, Minnesota. I chose him because he chose us when we moved. Now we do everything together. If my parents can’t go to one of by band concerts or other programs, he will always be there. Even if
my parents are there, he still comes to watch me.
He takes me everywhere. If he goes somewhere, I go with him. He likes to go camping, and I love it when he takes me with him. Last summer we went to the Grand Canyon. He has taken me camping ever since I was seven years old. My favorite memories with my grandpa are from our camping trip to the Grand Canyon. We went through a lot of campgrounds to get there. Every morning he made his favorite breakfast food called Toad in the Hole. It is eggs cooked in a hole in bread with bacon on the sides. Now it is one of my favorite breakfast foods. He also introduced me to flavored sparkling water, which is my favorite drink now. We also got to bike through every campground we visited. Almost every night we would go out and look at the stars. We both ended up getting lost in the dark.
My grandpa and I like to listen to music and watch funny movies together. We listen to records from his time on my record player, and some of our favorite movies that we have watched are Forrest Gump and Star Wars. We also play a lot of games. He has shown me how to play different games that he played when he was my age. One of the games is called Kick the Can. My grandpa tells the best jokes because he is the funniest guy on planet Earth.
My grandpa is also the kindest man I have ever met. He likes to help me with homework when I need help, but he always says that it is not like how he learned it. He spoils me by giving me anything I want. He has also been a real help to my mom. My mom owns a restaurant, and my grandpa was the one who helped her find a new location for it. Before she cooked and sold food out of our house.
My grandpa was in the Milbank Education Foundation for twenty years, which is an organization that gives out scholarships to high school students. These are just a few reasons why I think my grandpa is the best grandparent in the world! I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about him. My grandpa is the best person in the world, but more importantly he is the most important person to me.

Someone Special Essay
By: Emmett Schuelke
Sixth Grade – 2022-2023

My older brother Max can impact my life. When he pokes me, it helps me to behave. Max helps me with my reading homework. Max is helpful even though we don’t always agree. He helps me to do moves I don’t know how to do in video games.
Max pokes me in church to behave in church and Sunday School. Max hurts me, but it helps me behave. If I’m messing around in Sunday School, he pulls me to my seat. He always helps me to behave. Max helps me with my homework. We have this sorting activity while reading. He helped me with one that I didn’t even know the answer to. He also helped me with my journal to think of my topic.
When I play VR (virtual reality) on a game, he sees my screen to see what I am doing. With this he teaches me how to create a force shield, shoot fireballs, and stun people. He showed me how to make my weapon stronger. In a different game he taught me how to cook cookies. Max taught me a lot of moves in video games. In conclusion, Max helped me with a lot of things. He helps me behave in church and Sunday School. He helps me
with my homework. Also, he helps me to do moves in video games that I don’t know how to do.

Someone Special Essay
By: Emmett Snaza
Seventh Grade – 2022-2023

For my Someone Special Essay, I chose Mr. J. Graf. Mr. Graf has been my math teacher for two years now. He taught me in 6th and 7th grade. He helped me a lot in math because in elementary school I was getting B’s and C’s and once I got to 6th grade, I was getting all A’s. He was my homeroom teacher in 6th grade, and he knows everything, including science, social
studies and reading. During 6th grade, I wasn’t that smart. I got a low B in Math right away. I didn’t like that and then Mr. Graf showed me Khan Academy. In homeroom I always sat by the whiteboard and used it to do Khan. At the end of the year, I was 94% complete with all the 7th grade Math. I went up 16 points in NWEA. I then got into Pre-Algebra. Right now, I’m in Pre-Algebra and I don’t do Khan and I barely have an A.
Mr. Graf is my assistant coach in basketball right now. He has helped me in a lot of ways. He has helped my team in many ways too. He helped us practice breakaway layups and how to stop them. He always makes me smile by what he says. When I’m sad he boosts my morale. For these reasons, Mr. Graf is my Someone Special.

Someone Special Essay
By: Braxton Boerger
Eighth Grade – 2022-2023

I’m writing this essay about my special someone – my Grandpa Luke. He is about 56 and I love him. I love him because whenever I’m sad or tired, he always gets excited to do something. He always makes me and my brother food – the best food. Whenever he’s working, he always has a second to play catch with me. I’m never not excited to see him. He is very caring. I was sick and he brought me Chicken Noodle Soup and talked to me for a while. He’s awesome, he deserves the “Best Grandpa” award.
My grandpa cracks me up all the time, like when we were watching football and our team does something dumb; oh, that’s what really gets him going. He is very generous, and he gives all his family $100 for Christmas every year. You could say he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. The best thing ever is my grandpa likes chips so much that my grandma has to
literally hide them from him, because if he finds a bag, he’ll eat all of them. Chips are definitely his favorite food. His favorite kinds are Cool Ranch Doritos and barbeque flavored because they are a little spicy. He loves spicy stuff, it’s his favorite!
My grandpa’s hobbies consist of work, fishing, hunting, taking care of me, my brother, my grandma, my dad, and my older brother. He has taken me fishing countless times and he likes to hunt with me. That’s why he’s the best grandpa of all time.

Submitted Photo: Braxton Boerger, Luke Boerger, Jackson Graf, Emmet  Snaza, Kenadee Mueller, Olivia Mueller, Jose Sanchez, Heather Storm, Hayden Storm, Max Schuelke, Emmett Schuelke Not pictured Doug Bury


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