Essay Writing Contest

Essay Writing Contest

Essay Contest Banner


The Center for Community Engagement & Academic Success Center 
“The measure of a Life is its Service”


Essay Contest

The Academic Success Center and First Year Experience are hosting an essay contest for full-time undergraduate students. The purpose of this contest is to showcase SHSU students’ commitment to civic engagement and the betterment of their communities. 

Scholarships will be awarded to first place ($1000), second place ($750), and third place ($250) submissions.

Winners will also be recognized in an outline publication and on the academic success center’s website. We are looking for short, personal narratives demonstrating the theme “The measure of a life is its service.” We want true stories of SHSU students committed to extraordinary service and civic engagement. Essays may feature personal, first-hand experiences or may showcase service observed in others.

There is no minimum length required, but the maximum length of the essay is 500 words. All essays will be blindly reviewed and evaluated for both content and form. After the initial judging, a small set of essays will be recognized for overall excellence and recommended for publication. The winning essays will then be selected from this group. The essay must be submitted by end of day on March 25th, 2024 to Electronic submission is required. Submissions should be sent as email attachments (.doc, .docx, or .rtf files only) with the email subject line as “The measure of a life essay contest.” Winners will be announced by April 8th.

Each contestant may submit only one paper to the contest. To permit blind reviewing, there should be no self-references or other identifying elements within the papers; please do not include a heading the with author’s name. Essays should be double-spaced.

In the body of your email, please include:

  • Your full name
  • Sam ID
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your telephone number
  • The following statement of authenticity: “I am submitting an original essay to the Sam Houston Academic Success Center essay contest. I certify that this essay is my own work. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and may be used by Sam Houston State University for publication in promotional materials.”


Essay Rubric

Sponsored By:
The Center for Community Engagement and The Office of the Provost

2024 Contest Winners

1st Place: Charise Lincoln - Essay

2nd Place: Alexis Argueta - Essay

3rd Place: Ryan Springs - Essay

2023 Contest Winners

1st Place: Jessie Ventimiglia - Essay

2nd Place: Kayci Pharaon - Essay

3rd Place: Lydia Williams - Essay

2022 Contest Winners

1st Place: Juan Guardiola - Essay

2nd Place: Jasmine Martinez - Essay

3rd Place: Nicholas Polk - Essay