Senior wins $500 in Wisconsin Essay Contest

Williamson Medical Center Foundation hosted a writing competition. It was held in conjunction with Manufacturing Month in October. The decided theme for the essay was, “What is the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.” The essay had to be submitted by December 15th, 2021 and could be no longer than 1,000 words. In the essay, high school writers were supposed to highlight the coolest product made in Wisconsin, the product’s company, and how the company had given back to their employees and community. The top three winners would be awarded $500 after the essays were reviewed by WMC staff. 


Ellie Lloyd, a senior at Arrowhead, was one of three winners of this contest bringing home $500 and social media recognition. The topic for her essay was Sargento Cheese and her connection to it.


Lloyd wrote in the essay: “I was seven when my dad first took me to the race track up north. There you see the bright yellow Sargento cheese bridge stretching across the track with a very large semi-truck on top–something so eye-catching to look at as a small child. From that point forward, that was the only brand in the cheese aisle that I recognized and begged my parents to buy for me.”


According to the WMC foundation, it was founded in 1980 by Wisconsin business leaders who understood that business and economics education is fundamental to a healthy and prosperous state. The foundation remains committed to improving Wisconsin’s economy and ensuring a high quality of life for all citizens by providing educational programs and informational sources to enhance public education and update the skills of the current workforce.


Elizabeth Jorgensen, Lloyd’s Creative Writing teacher at Arrowhead said, “During first semester, I shared four writing contests with my students. I asked each student to choose at least one to write for. Ellie, like many of my students, decided to write about a favorite business in Wisconsin.”


In her essay, Lloyd wrote, Since 1992, its employees have assisted in building thirty-two Habitat for Humanity homes in Milwaukee and most recently donated 572,173 pounds of cheese to the needy in Wisconsin just last year. This is particularly admirable because one of the largest companies in the cheese industry is giving back to its consumers, right in its own production state. Thus,  showing that the company is not only dedicated to its cheese making and production, but also to the consumers that purchase its products.”


According to Program Wisconsin Business World, the WMC program has educated more than 25,000 students on business, entrepreneurism, and the free market. It was founded in 1982 by a group of young business leaders who sought to enhance business education in the state of Wisconsin. Their goal is to educate our future workforce on the crucial role that profitable businesses and manufacturers play in livelihoods.

This year, Jorgensen says about 35 of her first semester creative writing students wrote and submitted essays to Wisconsin Business World.


One of Jorgensen’s first semester students, and also a current senior, Killian Weston, said, Throughout this semester I have written many pieces. Some of my favorite pieces include the Coolest Thing In Wisconsin. I really enjoyed expressing myself with pieces that relate to me, which is exactly what I did in the Coolest Thing In Wisconsin essay. I wrote about the restaurant that I work at. Revere’s was fun for me to write about because it truthfully does have a big impact in my life, so I was easily able to relay that information in writing.”


Michelle Grajkowski, the Senior Director of Business World, informed Lloyd on Friday, February 17th  that she was the winner of $500 and that she would be recognized on Wisconsin Business World’s social media pages along with an excerpt of her essay. Grajkowski stated that the team reading the essays appreciated the time and energy Lloyd put into her essay. Lloyd made her way to the Arrowhead High School Facebook page which announced that she got first place and $500 in the contest.


Jorgensen said, “When I saw the email announcement from Ms. Grajkowski, I was so thrilled for Ellie. This is an amazing honor and I’m so proud of her and the work she did in her essay.” 


WMC Foundation is hosting a spring essay contest. The theme of the contest is “Business is a Force for Good: Why Wisconsin?” The site states that each of us has a unique reason for why we love living in Wisconsin. The essay must include information about at least one business that contributes to why the writer loves living in Wisconsin. All essay submissions must be received by June 2nd, 2023 at 11:59 pm by students.


Jorgensen says, “I hope Arrowhead students decide to write and submit an essay before the June deadline. It would be amazing to see more AHS writers on the Spring 2023 Why Wisconsin Contest winners list.”