2023 Winners

1st Place Winner

"My life has changed so much for the better because Charter House was there for me. At first I greatly needed the program and now I am paying it forward for others coming through. Sharing my contributions with others helps me in my recovery journey."

Jerri W.
Lansing, MI

Read Jerri's Essay

2nd Place Winner

"I have had many parents tell me how I have helped them and their kids. one parent said that her kid cried because he wants to be just like me when he grows up. I have written stories from an autistic person's point of view. and I try to answer any questions people have about autism."

Joe A.
Southgate, MI

Read Joe's Essay

3rd Place Winner

"My struggle with mental illness sometimes is a pain in the butt. Yet I am not to have any stigmas. But to
be honest with you I think we all have stigmas that are inside our head. Stigmas begin with how we
were raised or what we have been through in life."

Judy W.
Holly, MI

Read Judy's Essay

Ernie Reynolds Essay Contest 2024

Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) is proud to, once again, hold our annual essay contest in honor of an outstanding disability rights advocate, Ernie Reynolds, who passed away in 2012.

We are looking for motivating stories about people with disabilities who have successfully overcome barriers and achieved success while advocating for themselves or others.

First Prize: $300
Second Prize: $200
Third Prize: $100

Entry deadline: Coming Soon!
Submissions will be judged on:

  • Authenticity
  • Content and appeal of the advocacy story
  • Impact the story has had on the life of the individual or the lives of other people who have disabilities
  • Impact the story has had on the focus areas within DRM

1. Must be a resident of Michigan.
2. The limit is 500 words or less.
3. Submissions do not have to be typed, but they need to be legible.
4. There is no age limit to the contest.

SUBMISSIONS (3 ways to submit entries):

1. E-mail:

2. Fax:

3. Mail:
DRM Essay Contest
4095 Legacy Parkway
Lansing, MI 48911-4263

*Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, and email address on all entries.


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