Being an American essay contest offers scholarships to high school students


High school students and their teachers across the country are invited to participate in the Bill of Rights Institute’s sixth annual Being an American Essay Contest.

The largest contest of its kind in the country, the Being an American Essay Contest explores the founding principles outlined in the Constitution. The contest is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a non-profit educational organization in Washington, D.C. devoted to educating young people about the Constitution and founding principles. The History Channel sponsors the 2011-2012 contest.

“This contest is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to think about the important founding principles communicated in our Constitution,” said Dr. Jason Ross, Bill of Rights Institute vice president of education programs. “This context is vital to helping students see their founding principles as a meaningful part of the American experiment of self-government.”

Specifically, students are asked to share their thoughts on the Constitution by answering the following question: “How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?”

The top three student winners from each of the five geographical regions will be awarded cash prizes of $1,000 (first place), $500 (second place) and $250 (third place). Teacher sponsors for each student winner will also receive a cash prize of $100.

Over 80,000 students have participated in the essay contest since it began in 2006.

“We are pleased to support the Bill of Rights Institute’s Being an American Essay Contest,” said Dr. Libby O'Connell, SVP, corporate outreach and chief historian, History Channel. "The contest encourages students to think critically and truly makes the past relevant in their lives today."

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