Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Contest College


Welcome to the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest

Making Choices in Today's World

Facing History and Ourselves teaches us to think about the world in new ways, igniting conversations about how we can build societies free from racism, antisemitism, bullying, and hatred of all kinds. 

This contest invites students to reflect on who or what has influenced how they think about their roles and responsibilities as engaged members of their communities.


Student Scholarships & Awards 

With the generous support of Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project, Facing History is excited to offer more than $25,000in scholarships and awards to students and their educators. 

Three $5,000 (£4,000​) Upstander Scholarships will be awarded to students in 7th-12th grade (years 9-13 in the UK) and their teacher will also receive a $500 (£400) Classroom Award. At least one $5,000 (£4,000​) Upstander Scholarship will be designated for a graduating senior (year 13 in the UK). 

Seven $1,000 (£800) Upstander Awards will also be awarded to students in 7th-12th grade (years 9-13 in the UK) and their teacher will also receive a $250 (£200) Classroom Award

Eligibility:Students must be at least 13 years or older and reside in the United States, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), or the United Kingdom to participate. Please note that slightly different rules apply for participants in the UK; the UK rules can be found below the US and Canada rules in the official contest rules. ​


Educator Resources 

Looking for ways to continue exploring these ideas in your classroom? Check out these ready-to-use lesson plans that will help you engage your students as they consider how they want to participate in their community and world.


Read the Official Contest Rules and FAQs

Questions? Contact contest@facinghistory.org.


The Prompt:

Facing History and Ourselves works to create a society of thoughtful citizens who think deeply about the way they live as they make choices in their local communities and confront issues of global concern. We hope that students will believe that their choices do matter and will feel compelled to think carefully about the decisions they make, realizing that their choices will ultimately shape the world.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, once spoke of the importance of learning about people who were rescuers during the Holocaust. He said, “Let us not forget, after all, that there is always a moment when the moral choice is made. Often because of one story or one book or one person, we are able to make a different choice, a choice for humanity, for life.”

Please write an essay responding to Wiesel’s quote in 500 words or less. What story, book, or person has influenced your thinking about ethical decision making? What has it taught you about how you can participate as a caring, thoughtful citizen in the world around you?


Contest & Scholarship Supporter

Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project

For over 20 years, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project has encouraged the study of the Holocaust and how this watershed moment in human history relates to our world today. As part of this initiative, the Foundation is generously supporting Facing History's 2017 Student Essay Contest, which will encourage students to reflect upon the Holocaust as they examine the role of moral courage in today's society. In addition to the Foundation’s financial support of the Essay Contest and its student scholarships and teacher awards, individual employees of the law firm of Holland & Knight will serve as essay reviewers.

It’s Scholarship time. As you probably know by now, every week I post three scholarships with broad-appeal that have upcoming deadlines.

Usually this post appears by Friday afternoon, but with the holiday weekend, I am a bit behind. So, in better late than never news, I have three great scholarship opportunities tonight: the $10,000 Life Lessons Scholarship, the up to $10,000 Holocaust Remembrance Essay Competition; and the up to $10,000 Alma Adams Scholarship for community activists.

1. Life Lessons Scholarship Program: $10,000
Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education annually sponsors a creative scholarship competition for students who have lost a parent or guardian. There are two ways to enter — with a written essay of no more than 500 words, or with a video essay of no longer than 3 minutes. Students must describe how the loss of their parent/guardian has affected them emotionally and financially. Scholarship prizes range from $2,000 to $10,000, with a total of $125,000 in scholarship funds awarded annually. See website for deadline.

2. Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Scholarship: Up to $10,000
The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation is once again sponsoring its annual Holocaust Remembrance Essay Scholarship, with prizes of up to $10,000 for winning essayists. Students must first study original source material about the Holocaust and then write an essay that analyzes the importance of passing down historical lessons about the Holocaust and offers suggestions to students seeking to combat prejudice and violence in our world today. Essays should be approximately 1,200 words. The Foundation will select ten first-place winners, each of whom will receive a scholarship ranging from $2,500 – $10,000. First-place winners will also receive an all-expense paid trip to Chicago, Illinois to visit the new Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Foundation will also select 10 second-place winners, who will earn a $500 scholarship, and 10 third-place winners, who will receive a $300 scholarship. Essays will be judged on use of resource materials; clear and effective language, mechanics and grammar; and coherent plan of organization. To be eligible, applicants must be currently enrolled in high school (grades 9-12) and be citizens of the United States or Mexico. See website for deadline.

3. Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship: Up to $10,000
The Alma S. Adams Scholarship is sponsored annually by the American Legacy Foundation, which envisions a world where young people can reject tobacco and anyone can quit smoking. Dr. Adams was the founder of American Legacy. The Foundation seeks to honor students who are working with “priority populations” in their efforts to quit smoking by awarding them up to $10,000 in scholarships. Winners must have demonstrated a commitment to community service and/or using media to reach disadvantaged population. See website for deadline.

Tags: alma adams, applying for scholarships, college scholarships, life lessons

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