Understanding History; Banfield fourth grader is a national winner in MLK essay contest

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Amanda Rodriguez is only a fourth grader, but her understanding of history is remarkable.

Rodriguez’s ability to express herself in writing has earned her a top national award in the annual Hormel Foods Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest, chosen by Hormel’s African American Resource Group. The contest is designed, according to Hormel, “to pay tribute to the fallen civil rights leader by asking children what he and his work means to them.”

“If there had been no Dr. Martin Luther King, I might not be able to do what I do today; I might not have the friends I have. I might not even be in this school,” she said of her school, Banfield Elementary.

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“When I think of him, I think of him not just as a person, but as a hero.”

The plaque honoring Rodriguez for her essay on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Her essay was one of three chosen in the contest. She and her parents, Anderson and Cindy Rodriguez, will formally accept her award on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the corporate headquarters on Hormel, along with the other two winners.

Rodriguez said her essay was not difficult to write, because she loves expressing her thoughts.

“I really love writing and I love, art, too,” she said.

And King’s history was also easy to write about — because it was so interesting, she said.

Banfield Elementary student Amanda Rodriguez talks about winning a Hormel Contest honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.

“I’m just happy he did what he did for us, for millions of people,” she said. “He said we were all the same … we all make mistakes; and we all need to understand each other.”

Rodriguez is a busy students. In addition to being a member of Student Council, she is a member of the robotics team, is involved in the school play and loves basketball.

Principal Jeff Roland praised Rodriquez, noting he was very impressed with her essay.

“She is quite a talent,” he said.