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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/10/2012 7:09:00 AM
American Heritage 8th grader wins Arizona St. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Contest
Mickayla West and her grandmother, Susie West
Mickayla West and her grandmother, Susie West

Thousands of poems and essays from students throughout the state flooded the MLK Celebration Committee's office at Arizona State University.

American Heritage Academy 8th grader, Mickayla West, was named a winner of the 2012 Arizona State University Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Contest for her poem essay titled "Gracious Granny."

The contest theme, "Preserve and Transcend," requested students to write either an essay or a poem about a local community member that inspires them.

Mickayla chose to write about her grandmother, Susie West, because of her work at the Second Chance Thrift store, located at 675 E. Cottonwood St., which supports the Verde Valley Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary provides safe and temporary shelter, 24 hour crisis line, crisis intervention, counseling, and legal advocacy for women and children victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Mickayla says, "My Granny plays a big role in my life, she helps our community in so many ways and helps abused woman get the things they need to get out of abusive relationships. I like to help her at the thrift shop and help customers, it's a lot of fun."

Mickayla also shared that every week an American Heritage Academy 6th through 12th grade class volunteers an hour of their class time at a nonprofit organization such as: The Red Rock Rehabilitation Center, Y.E.S. The Arc, and the local Food Bank. Mickayla says, volunteering with her classmates has taught her teamwork and how she and her fellow students can make a difference in the community.

Mickayla's mother, Erica West, shared, "McKayla took an interest to writing about three years ago. This contest was one of many offered at her school, which encourages volunteerism and participation in academic contests."

The following is Mickayla West winning poem essay:



Gracious Granny

Granny makes a difference, by accomplishing what she loves.

Granny makes it count, by assisting those in need.

Granny works hard all day, to provide for the Verde Valley Women's Shelter.

Granny makes an effort, dwindling none of her time.

Granny has employment at a thrift shop, where "donations are gladly accepted"

Granny helps hard-working everyday women, whether they are abused or just need a place out of harm's reach.

Granny has volunteers, they assist her whenever help is sought!

Granny supports the Shelter, by running a thrift shop to benefit those in need.

Granny makes life easier, Especially for abused women and children.

My Granny makes me feel special, just knowing I can look up to her for guidance!

I love my Granny for making an impact not only in my life but additional lives as well!


Susie West says, "I am so touched by Mickayla's poem. I think she gives me too much credit because it's kids like McKayla and her brother, Tim, and so many other gracious volunteers and donators who have enabled us to keep Second Chance going and help change many women and children's lives through Verde Valley Sanctuary services."

Mickayla, her family, and American Heritage Academy's Superintendent Tony Rhineheart and Principal Ron Miller will be attending the 28th annual ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Breakfast at ASU on Jan. 23, where McKayla will be honored with an award certificate and $50 prize.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

As a volunteer at the Central Arizona Food Bank I have been watching for years as the kids from American Heritage come over every week to help their community. With hard working kids like these, our country's future is bright indeed!

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Dustin Moore

HI EVERYONE. SO HOW IS ITS POSSIBLE TOO MAKE A DIFFERENCE I PICK UP BOXS MATRESSES AN SOME HEAVY THINGS BEFORE. SO HOW U DO IT!



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