Being an American Essay

November 20, 2012 - This program is no longer being offered.
Maximum Award: 
All high school students

In 1000 words or less, you need to answer the question: How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty? The Being an American Essay suggests that you focus on the following four points:

  • How one of the Founding principles established in the Constitution helps preserve liberty
  • Why at least one Founder, as evidenced in a primary source document, believed your chosen principle was a safeguard to liberty
  • Why your principle continues to be important today
  • How you personally help preserve a culture that ensures the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America

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The Contest is open to all United States citizens or legal residents who are students

  1. in Grades 9-12 attending public, private, religious, and charter schools but who are no older than 19 no younger than 13 as of the end of the Contest Period (December 15, 2011),
  2. enrolled in a GED or correspondence school program but who are no older than 19 no younger than 13 as of the end of the Contest Period, or
  3. attending a homeschool program who are no younger than 13 as of the beginning of the contest period and no older than 19 as of the end of the Contest Period.

Students must attend school in one of the following states, territories, or district, regardless of their state of residence: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, all U.S. Territories, and American Armed Forces Schools Abroad.

Check out other essay contests for which you may be eligible.