World Citizen Essay Contest

 

2015 World Citizen Essay Contest

filming the globe

This year, 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?

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s World Citizen Essay Contest. The student winners will be announced at the end of April and will be celebrated at a public awards ceremony in early June. Our first place winners will have their essays published in the Seattle Globalist! Stay tuned for details!  

Thank you also to our fantastic volunteer judges for reviewing this year’s essays! 

Essay Contest Rules

Essay Submission Cover Form

Judging Rubric

Getting Started Guide

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 on the global community. This year’s prompt asks students to think critically by analyzing the importance of communicating events abroad and being engaged and informed global citizens. Winners will receive cash prizes, recognition on the World Affairs Council website, and will be honored at a public awards ceremony in early June.

Spread the word about the essay contest to the students and teachers in your life! Download this flyer.

Questions? Email essaycontest@world-affairs.org or call the World Affairs Council at 206.441.5910.

This year’s essay contest supported by The Seattle Globalist and The Seattle Times Newspapers in Education. 

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 2013 New NIE Logo

 

 

Meet our Distinguished Judging Panel!

This year, the winning essays will be selected by an expert panel of judges!

Andrew Nagorski, former Senior Editor, Newsweek International
Andrew is an award-winning journalist and author who spent more than three decades as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek. He was bureau chief in Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, and  Hong Kong. From 2008 to April 2014 he was vice president and director of public policy for the EastWest Institute, an international affairs think tank. Nagorski is based in New York but continues to travel extensively, writing for numerous publications and finishing his next book. 

 

Robert McMahon, Editor, CFR.org, Council on Foreign Relations
Robert has covered foreign affairs since 1990 for the Associated Press, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and CFR.org. As Editor of CFR.org, he oversees publishing of daily news-related content on the website, supervising an editorial team and coordinating with CFR Fellows to produce web-only publications. Robert also contributes analysis and background reporting to the website and regularly participates in a weekly podcast series, “The World Next Week.”

Jessica Partnow, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Seattle Globalist
Jessica is an international radio journalist whose work has been broadcast by dozens of public radio stations, networks, and programs. She was a Knight New Media Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has received two Edward R. Murrow Awards, regionally for her radio series Life on the Duwamish and nationally for Generation Putin, an hour-long public radio special on young people and political change in the former Soviet Union. Jessica is an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington where she teaches multi-platform journalism and co-coordinates the journalism program.

Previous Essay Contests 

Congratulations to our 2014 Essay Contest winners!

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. 

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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 essays here.

If You Were Rick Steves…

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

Rick Steves

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

Congratulations to our 2013 World Citizen Essay Contest Winners!

Washington students in grades 3 through 12 were invited to enter the blogosphere with this prompt:

Nancy Pearl

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.

 

 

 

 

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

First PlaceKayla Lay, View Ridge Elementary School, “The Brave Little TurtleQuinn 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.

 Grades 3-5Grades 6-8Grades 9-12
First PlaceKendall Barton Bryant Elementary School “Theo Chocolate”Arun Palaniappan Odle Middle School “Eradicating Deadly Diseases: The Washington Global Health Alliance”Zanwar Faraj Sammamish High School “The New Era of Commerce”
Second PlaceJacob Cain View Ridge Elementary School “Amazon.com, It’s Something New”Zachary Cushman Haller Middle School “Achievements of Ultra Rice”Blake Peterson Kamiakin Junior High School “Innovations in a Cup of Coffee”
Third PlaceAlex MacLean Bryant Elementary School “Dale Chihuly, A Northwest Innovator”Matthew Taylor Haller Middle School “SightLife”Elena Plenefisch Kamiakin Junior High School “Healthcare to Go”

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.

 3rd-5th Grade6th-8th Grade9th-12th Grade
First  PlaceJerry Xu Stevenson Elementary Land and Religion WarsErica Ng University Prep Developing Countries and EducationMelissa Chan Eastside Catholic High School A Thing Called Beauty
Second PlaceEvelyn Doran View Ridge Elementary School Child Servitude in India: Shedding Light on a Dark SubjectEmma Every Lakeside School Finding Their VoiceAnna Bjarvin Timbercrest Junior High Addressing World Issues- Brazil Deforestation
Third PlaceMadeline West Bryant Elementary School The Forgotten WarAshlen Ahearne Woodward Middle School Searching for the Elusive Keys to Co-ExistenceMadeline Kleiner University Prep Is There a Jihad Against Freedom of Expression?


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1th 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.

 3rd-5th Grade6th-8th Grade9th-12th Grade
First  PlaceJacob Clayton Bryant Elementary School Turn Down the HeatAnna Kimura Odle Middle School Afghanistan:Give Diplomacy a ChancePavallan Mohan Inglemoor High School Returning Israel and Palestine Back on Track for Peace
Second PlaceNathan McDermott Stevenson Elementary School Nuclear Weapons in IranSarah Williams Odle Middle School Clean Energy for a Better WorldRima Kaboul Inglemoor High School Freedom from Genocide in the Darfur Region
Third PlaceSam Nasralla Bryant Elementary School Putting Food in Your Car You Won’t Get FarKristin Hirata Odle Middle School Making a Positive Impression on the WorldLeifur Gunnarsson Roosevelt High School Poverty: A Universal Dilemma

 

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.

 3rd-5th Grade6th-8th Grade9th-12th Grade
First  PlaceKarthik Meiyappan Stevenson Elementary Ghandi, Savior of HarijansAdriana Cvitkovic The Northwest School Seeds of ComplianceAngelia Tyler West Seattle High Taking Care of Our World 
Second PlaceKathleen Zhu Stevenson Elementary Drilling Wells in Africa — Compassion in ActionCorryn Wetzel Seattle Girls’ School A Humanitarian Act to Create HabitatDavid Hyde The Overlake School Teaching Compassion 
Third PlaceSheuli Chowdhury Stevenson Elementary A Compassionate Hero: A Confluence of the Mind and HeartKrista Showalter Haller Middle School Seeds of CompassionIlham Abdulrahman Sammamish High School Father of the Year  
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