We want to know how you have been and can continue to be an agent of positive change. Honestly and thoughtfully respond to the prompt below. Share what you’ve learned through your life experiences and tell how you’ll apply that knowledge in helping to create a brighter future.
Submission Deadline Dates:
Grades 6-10 essay: Thursday, February 8, 2024
Grades 11 & 12 essay: Thursday, February 15, 2024
"I no longer believe that we can change anything in the world until we have first changed ourselves." - Etty Hillesum
Etty Hillesum was a young, Jewish-Dutch woman who wrote diaries in Amsterdam during the Second World War. In 1943, she was murdered at Auschwitz, at only 29 years old. Etty believed internal personal change was a necessary first step to bringing about positive change in the world, and that this was the main lesson to be learned from the Holocaust. Etty bears witness to what it means to be human and commits herself to a radical choice: not to hate, even as she opens her heart to the horrors unfolding around her.
In honor of Etty’s message, we ask you to share your story.
For the essay contest: In 500 words or less:
- Describe a moment of injustice, bias, discrimination, or exclusion: something you witnessed or experienced, or a time when you learned about an unjust situation or event that affected you or others.
- How did this moment impact the people involved? What kind of personal change does this experience inspire in you?
- How can your personal change lead you to make positive changes in your community and the world? (How have you or will you affect others positively?)