Online Essay Competitions 2011

Global Classroom’s World Citizen Essay Contest

*The goal of the World Citizen Essay Contest is to promote discussion among students, teachers, families, and community members about the ways that individuals can effect positive change in the global community.*


2018 World Citizen Essay Contest

 

Overview:

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, were agreed upon by the United Nations in 2015 to address vital global issues by 2030. They are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and work toward peace and prosperity for all. 

Although these ambitious goals are interconnected, each emphasizes a different area of development, including: education, gender equality, health, water and sanitation, environment, poverty, hunger, peace and justice, etc. (To learn more about all 17 goals, please check out the following website https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs)

Overall, the 17 goals represent an opportunity for our local, national, and global communities to improve the living standards of all people in all regions of the world. How do you think you could make difference in achieving one of these goals? Where would you want to work (local or global context) toward achieving this goal and why? How would you make achieving this goal sustainable?

You can also check out these intro videos with Malala and Emma Watson

Essay Prompt:

You have recently received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to “take action” toward achieving ONE of the 17 Global Goals (SDGs). In 1,000 words or less, explain why you chose this goal, what region (local or global context) of the world you would work to address it (and why), and what steps or actions you would take to make it sustainable.

Note: For “region,” you could discuss a region of the world, specific country context, or a local community.

Suggestion for Elementary Teachers: You may want to choose ONE of the Global Goals that is connected to your curriculum standards and have your entire class focus on that goal.

Suggestion for Secondary Teachers: You may give students the option to choose ONE of the 17 goals or pre-select which goal you would like your students to address in their essay.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

2018 WCEC Rule Sheet

2018 WCEC Judging Rubric

2018 WCEC Cover Form

2018 WCEC Cover Form fillable PDF*

*Please download the cover form and fill it out before saving to ensure your information is recorded properly. Always double check that the form you attach to your email has your information clearly and legibly displayed.

Extra materials for educators and students are listed below:

Introduction to the Global Goals (includes lesson plans for all grade levels)

SDG Essay Resource Packet for Educators


Prizes

We are pleased to announce that this year’s prizes will once again include travel vouchers for the winning essay in each grad bracket, provided by Expedia, Inc.

 

Please submit essays with your cover form filled in and attached as a separate document to essaycontest@world-affairs.org by the deadline: Friday, March 16th

 

If you are interested in judging the 2018 Essay Contest, please fill out the 2018 WCEC Judge Contact Form and email it to tosterhaug@world-affairs.org


The World Citizen Essay Contest is made possible by the generous support of Expedia Inc, as part of the Expedia Cares initiative.


Previous Essay Contests 

2017 World Citizen Essay Contest

The United Nations has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Now is your chance to engage as a Sustainable Traveler…

You have won an all-expenses-paid trip to the destination of your choice. In 1,000 words or less, describe where you will go (and why), and explain what steps you will take to make sure that your travels are truly sustainable.

Congratulations to our 18th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest winners!

Students were celebrated at a public awards ceremony on May 2nd with keynote speaker Katherine Cheng, head of the global corporate citizenship and community relations for Expedia, Inc. 

Read all of the winning World Citizen Essays here. 


2016 World Citizen Essay Contest

In the 2015-2016 school year, the World Affairs Council partnered with Water1st International; our prompt asked students to think critically and be engaged as global citizens by addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: The worldwide water crisis.

Congratulations to our 17th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest winners!

The student winners were celebrated at a public awards ceremony on May 5th, with keynote speaker and former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Jeff Raikes, and featuring the founder of Water1st International Marla Smith-Nilson. 

CLICK HERE to watch Jeff Raikes’ keynote at our Essay Contest Awards Ceremony

CLICK HERE to watch the Q & A with Jeff Raikes and Marla Smith-Nilson

Read all of the winning essays here.


2015 World Citizen Essay Contest

The student winners were celebrated at a public awards ceremony on May 26th with keynote speaker Margaret Larson of KING 5 News. Check out video from the eventhere.  

Congratulations to our Winners:

 

Washington State students in grades 3 through 12 were invited to think like a foreign news correspondent with the following essay prompt: 

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is important to be informed of issues and events around the globe in order to better understand and engage with the people around us. If you were a foreign news correspondent, where would you like to be assigned? What story would you cover and how would you gather the necessary information? Why do you think this is an important story to tell?

Read the winning essays here. 

Zara Rupp, The Water Crisis

Ruby Whorton, Disappearance to ISIS

Katie Wade, The Effects of Boycotting Chocolate: Good or Bad for Child Laborers in Cote d’Ivoire?


2014 World Citizen Essay Contest

On June 5th, Rick Steves joined the World Affairs Council and essay contest winners to speak on the value of thoughtful travel and present students with their certificates and prizes. 

Congratulations to our winners:

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

First PlaceAryeh Tenbroek, Bryant Elementary, “Freedom for Tibet”Anirudh Prakash, Odle Middle School, “Piracy: A Conspiracy to Shun Ancient Growth”Daaniya Iyaz, STEM HS, “Peering Across the Partition”
Second PlaceRoberto Kannapell, Bryant Elementary, “Guatemalan Coffee”Melinda Day, Tahoma Middle School, “Broadening Perspectives Through Travel”Warisha Soomro, STEM High School, “The ‘Perfect’ Destination”
Third PlaceGilly Wolf, Bryant Elementary, “Ethiopia”Gabrielle Chappell, College Place Middle School, “World Citizen Essay”Marium Raza, Redmond High School, “Hopeless Paradise: Questions about the Future of Swat Valley, Pakistan”

Read about the way these students are thinking about the world beyond our borders! Find excerpts and the full essayshere.

Washington State students in grades 3-12 were asked to respond to the following prompt:

Rick Steves

Through his book, TV and radio shows, guided tours, and public speaking engagements, Rick Steves haintroduced Americans to many parts of the world. His recent book, Travel as a Political Act, suggests that travel may be important for reasons that go beyond a dream vacation. Rick Steves has traveled to Iran, Israel, and Palestine among other places, with the goal of making connections with and understanding the concerns of the people who live there.

If you traveled with the same goal, where would you go and why?  What would you hope to learn? How will traveling to this place and meeting its residents broaden your perspectives – why is this important? 

We received nearly 450 essays this year! Thank you to everyone who participated. And thank you to our volunteer judges!


2013 World Citizen Essay Contest

Nancy Pearl

We celebrated our winners at a special event at the Seattle Asian Art Museum with Nancy Pearl on May 30th. At the ceremony, the winners received their cash prizes, a certificate, and a copy of Nancy Pearl’s book, Book Crush.

 

 

Congratulations to our 2013 World Citizen Essay Contest Winners:

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

First PlaceKayla Lay, View Ridge Elementary School, “The Brave Little Turtle“Quinn Sullivan, Eckstein Middle School, “Be Brave”Emily Geyman, Lakeside School, “Weep Not, Child: The Light of Kenya, a Story of Hope”
Second PlaceGrace Harman, Bryant Elementary School, “A School Life”Anna Galbraith, Eckstein Middle School, “Persevering in the Darkest of Times: Wisdom from Maus”Madeline Bennett, Redmond High School, “Becoming Conscious”
Third PlaceCora Wright, Bryant Elementary,“The Breadwinner”Harriet Wright, Eckstein Middle School, “Breaking Down Walls”Meg Leonard, Redmond High School, “Abby Takes a Stand”

2012 Games Without Borders Youth Challenge 

Congratulations to the winners of our First Annual Games Without Borders Youth Challenge!

In lieu of the World Citizen Essay Contest, Global Classroom encouraged students to apply their knowledge of and passion for gaming while learning about world issues. Since fun, educational games about global topics are hard to find, GC gave Puget Sound students a new challenge: create a game that young people would love eto play and that would raise awareness about a global topic or issue.

The winners were:

Middle School Division:

Children of Change by McKenna Sevruk (7th grade, Tahoma Middle School)Middle School Division:

Microloan Adventures by Luke Johnson, Christo Pamboukas, Joey Peterson, and Reed Stever (7th grade, Tahoma Middle School)

High School Division: 

Animal Rescue: The Video Game by Kaylene Stocking and Sarah Yerrace (9th grade, Timbercrest Junior High)

Let’s Trade! by Alina Amkhavong, Hannah Madani, Cristina Martinez, and Sahar Mohammad (10th grade, Kent-Meridian High School)

Syria at Risk by Sopheaktra Danh and Melody Northcutt (12th grade, Aviation High School)

To learn more about this contest, visit our Games Without Borders Youth Challenge webpage.


13th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest (2011)

Congratulations to our 2011 World Citizen Essay Contest Winners!

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the World Affairs Council and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, the World Affairs Council embarked on a two-year partnership with the Seattle Center Foundation.

The question for the 2011 World Citizen Essay Contest was:
“Looking back over the last sixty years, please identify a Puget Sound-based innovation that has left its mark around the world. Explain why and how this innovation had an impact beyond the United States. (This impact can be related to the arts, sports, music, popular culture, technology, civic action, global health, education, manufacturing, etc.)”

Thank you to all of the students who submitted essays and to the outstanding judges who volunteered their time to read them all!

Our special congratulations to the following students who were the top finalists in each category. Click on the links below to read excerpts from our winning essays.

On June 23rd, 2011 World Citizen Essay Contest winners were interviewed about global innovation on Public Exposure SCAN-TV. Watch the 30 minute interview here.

 


12th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest (2010)

The question for the 2010 World Citizen Essay Contest was:

“Despite the ever increasing importance of understanding the histories, governments, and cultures, of people from all over the world, many news organizations in recent years have had to cut their foreign correspondent staff. If you were a journalist on an international assignment, where would you like to go, what issue would you cover, and why? “

Thank you to the 390 students who submitted essays and the 78 judges who spent time reading them all. Essay Contest winners were being honored at a Global Classroom Celebration on May 17th, 2010.

Our special congratulations to the following students, top finalists in each category.


11th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest (2009)

The question for the 2009 World Citizen Essay Contest was:

“Imagine that you are Hillary Rodham Clinton, the new U.S. Secretary of State and head of the U.S. Department of State, which has a mission to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. Describe one international issue you think is important today. Why do you think this issue is important to both the U.S. and the world? Considering the mission of the U.S. Department of State, what would you do about this issue?”

Thank you to the 215 students who submitted essays and the 78 judges who spent time reading them all. Essay Contest winners were being honored at a Global Classroom Celebration on May 27th, 2009.

Our special congratulations to the following students, top finalists in each category.

 


10th Annual World Citizen Essay Contest (2008)

The question from the 2008 World Citizen Essay Contest was:

“In April, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (1989 Nobel Prize winner for Peace) will journey to Seattle to discuss and celebrate compassion in action with Seattle-area youth, educators, and policy makers. Definition: ‘Compassionate acts are generally considered those which take into account the suffering of others and attempt to alleviate that suffering as if it were one’s own.’ (From Wikipedia – as cited by the organization Seeds of Compassion) A) Considering the definition above, identify an individual who has been moved by compassion to take action on a problem. Describe his or her work. How did he or she demonstrate compassion? B) Now, imagine yourself as an adult. Following in this individual’s footsteps, what international issue would you want to tackle? Why is this issue important? What steps might you take to resolve the issue? Why does this issue awaken compassion in you?”

Thank you to the over 200 students who submitted essays and the 33 judges who spent time reading them all. Essay contest winners were honored at a special reception and award ceremony on June 17, 2008.

Our special congratulations to the following students, top finalists in each category.

Awards
2018 High School Essay Contest

Topic: “Why do we — as consumers of media — need to obtain news from multiple feeds and not just one or two outlets?”

2017 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

First Place National Essay Winner
($1,000 scholarship)
Lauryn Wu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
Read essay [PDF]

— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Co-winner: Aliza Diepenbrock, Spring Street International School, Friday Harbor, Washington
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Co-winner: Carolyn Harper, Bob Jones High School, Madison, Alabama
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Eileen Yang, Peddie School, Hightstown, New Jersey
Read essay [PDF]


Resources for scholastic journalists and educators

JEA Digital Media Resources
Multimedia Tools
Guide to Broadcast/Video
Guide to Moving Online


Previous honorees

2016 Contest Winners

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Simon Levien, Sparta High School, Sparta, N.J.
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: David Oks, The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Christine Condon, Dulaney High School, Timonium, Md.
Read essay [PDF]


2015 Contest Winners

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Matthew Zipf, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, Md.
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Philip Kim, Paramus High School, Paramus, N.J.
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Sania Chandrani, Parkview High School, Liburn, Ga.
Read essay [PDF]


2014 Contest Winners

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Tianyu Lin of Milton Academy in Milton, Mass.
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Phoebe Fox of La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls in Honolulu, Hawaii
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Jacob Bloch of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, N.Y.
Read essay [PDF]


2013 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Courtney Swafford of Write from the Heart in Wilmington, Del.
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Anran Yu of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz.
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Chuli Zeng of Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Calif.
Read essay [PDF]


2012 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Hwasung (Daniel) Yoo of Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va.
Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Niisackey Mills of South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, N.J.
Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Dustin Chandler of East Burke High School in Connellys Springs, N.C.
Read essay [PDF]


2011 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Emerson Hardebeck of Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash.
Read essay [PDF, 139 KB]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Shaun Moran of St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, N.J.
Read essay [PDF, 78 KB]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Chris Papas of Oakton High School in Vienna, Va. Read essay [PDF, 74 KB]


2010 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Erin McDonough of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Shaj Mathew of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Xiaonan “April” Hu of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.


2009 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Alix Cohen of Cypress Bay High School, Weston, Fla.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Victor Hollenberg of Staples High School, Westport, Conn.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Alyssa Patrick of Eisenhower High School, Yakima, Wash.


2008 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Mark Brouch, Aurora Central Catholic High School, Aurora, Ill.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Evan Rich, Jericho High School, Jericho, N.Y.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Danna Seligman, Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, Ca.


2007 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): David Kelly, Broomfield High School, Broomfield, Colo.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Dan Garon, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth, Minn.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Erin Gowdy, Bob Jones High School, Madison, Ala.


2006 Contest Winners
Read Press Release

— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship): Angelika Zych, Vanguard High School, in Ocala, Fla.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Jonathan Homrighausen of Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, Wash.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Amy Brooks of Clayton High School in Clayton, Mo.


2005 Contest Winners
— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship winner) : Mindy Zhang, Robinson Secondary School, Fairfax, Va.
— Second Place ($500 scholarship winner): Zachory John Drisko, Green Hope High School, Cary, N.C.
— Third Place ($300 scholarship winner): Katie Roberts, Home schooled, Walnut Shade, Mo.


2004 Contest Winners
— First Place National Essay Winner ($1,000 scholarship winner): Heather Hamilton, Sentinel High School, Missoula, Mont.
— Second Place ($500 scholarship winner): Logan Oyler, Hickory High School, Chesapeake, Va.
— Third Place ($300 scholarship winner): Joey Muffler, Bishop Ireton High School Alexandria, VA


2002 National First Place Winner
Jonathan Ross Kaplan, Nova High School, Davie, Fla.

2000 National First Place Winner
Katie Pennock, West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, NC

1999 National First Place Winner
Darcy Colson Baxter, Lansing Central High School (near Ithaca, N.Y.)

1998 National First Place Winner
Michael Anthony Fedele III, Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, S.C.

Postmark deadline: February 23, 2018

Nominations accepted beginning November 3, 2017

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association want to increase high school students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of independent media to our lives. National winners of this essay contest receive scholarship awards.

Award recognition

First Place: $1,000 scholarship
Second Place: $500 scholarship
Third Place: $300 scholarship

Entry Deadline

All entries should be postmarked by February 23, 2018.


Complete Official Rules and How to Enter

For official contest rules and information on how to enter this year’s High School Essay Contest, please visit this link.

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