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Students Win Prizes in Fourth Annual KBHF Essay Contest

Seven high school students from across Kansas have received their awards from the fourth annual statewide Kansas Business Hall of Fame essay contest.

The contest was open to students in Grades 9–12 in Kansas. Home school entries were accepted. Original essays were based on research of a Kansas Business Hall of Fame honoree inducted into one of two categories, Historical or Contemporary. Students could read about the inductees at and choose one that inspired them. They were encouraged to use their own personal thoughts and views that best pertained to the theme and themselves.

Fifty-six entries from eight Kansas high schools (Blue Valley North, Emporia, Marion, Nemaha Central, Olpe, Quinter, Wellington and Wichita East) were judged by a panel of business professionals and business faculty.

The prize money totaling $2,000 was graciously donated by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, who doubled the prize money from the previous year. Seven total prizes were awarded to the top three essays overall ($400 each) and for the top essay in each grade, 9–12 (from the remaining essays; $200 each). Winning authors were mailed or presented their certificates and checks. Dr. James Leiker, KBHF Board Chair, comments, “The Kansas Business Hall of Fame is delighted to recognize these essays on our state's entrepreneurial tradition. In honoring the student winners, we also extend the hope they will continue that tradition by leading Kansans forward through new challenges.”

Below are the winning authors and the KBHF inductee they wrote about:

Top three $400 winners:

  • Brianna Barrett, freshman from Emporia High School, inductee Olive Ann Beech
  • Elizabeth Place, sophomore from Blue Valley North High School, inductee Harry Darby
  • Brooklyn Farmer, sophomore from Wellington High School, inductee William Allen White

Top $200 winners from each grade:

  • Edward Mu, freshman from Blue Valley North High School, inductee W. Frank Barton
  • Lenia Crouch, sophomore from Emporia High School, inductee Georgia Neese Gray
  • Makaila Karmann, junior from Emporia High School, inductee Olive Ann Beech
  • Maya Bishop, senior from Olpe High School, inductee Olive Ann Beech

About the Kansas Business Hall of Fame

Housed in Emporia State University’s School of Business Cremer Hall, the Kansas Business Hall of Fame recognizes business leaders, who through their high standards of ethics, have added to the prestige and growth of Kansas. By identifying outstanding examples of business leadership, the Hall of Fame shares with high school and college students and adults these stories of success and innovation through representative displays. The Hall of Fame creates an awareness and appreciation of Kansas' rich heritage of business leadership. The Board is made up of individuals from all over the state of Kansas with representatives from universities, community colleges, and private and public businesses. For more information, please go to