Albion 3rd-grader Gianna Hyde wins Tops essay contest

Posted 19 April 2023 at 4:18 pm

Press Release, Albion Central School

Gianna Hyde

ALBION – Third-grader Gianna Hyde loves to write. During a school break, her mom noticed an ad for the Tops Friendly Market Black History Month essay contest. Hyde got to work, ultimately winning the competition, resulting in a $50 gift card for herself and $100 donation for the school district.

The third annual essay contest held by Tops asks students in grades 3-8 to write about an African American that inspires them. Hyde researched Harriet Tubman but then thought about Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin.

“I learned that he got hit in the heart and then his heart stopped,” explained Hyde. “But then they brought him back to life.”

Hyde found Hamlin’s recovery inspiring, but also admired his work away from the football field.

“He has a charity for kids, Chasing M’s Foundation, and if he wasn’t playing football he would do stuff for his neighborhood and all these kids,” she said.

As Hyde wrote in her essay, “Damar wrote this inspiring question in front of the doctors: ‘Who Won The Game?’ he wrote. That showed the world that he cares more about other people than himself.”

Winning the contest was a great surprise for Hyde and she said it made her feel really happy. The personal gift card was a bonus, but she mostly cared about having the opportunity to write and to win money for her school.

It is evident that the nine-year-old Albion student and the professional football player share something in common: both have the selfless intent to bring joy to others.

Hyde added about her essay, “Maybe he could read it sometime. He’s alive, it would probably make him feel happy.”