Essay Package
Essay Topics
Scholarship App
Scholarship Rules
Participating Schools
Ann.& Evt. Schedules

Download the list of scholarship rules HERE


1.       Contestants must be an African American Junior or Senior in High School attending one of the twelve designated far South Suburban High Schools, namely: Bloom, Bloom Trail, Crete Monee, Hillcrest, Homewood Flossmoor, Marian Catholic, Rich Central, East and South, Southland College Prep., Thornton, Thornridge, and Thornwood. An Essay Application must be completed and signed by student. 

2.         Essays are required to be original works, and must cover one of the 12 topics in the attached WSESF 2018 Essay Topics list. Essays that do not address one of these topics will not be scored.  

3.        Contestants must submit four copies of their essay with a signature on the last page, and submitted on or before the deadline of Saturday, April 30, 2018.

4.         The top of each page must include the contestant's name, title of the essay, date written and page number. A cover page should precede the first page of text and all pages thereafter must be numbered.

5.         The essay must consist of a minimum of (8) eight pages, and a maximum of (12) twelve pages, double spaced using Times Roman or Courier 12 or 14 font. A Bibliography is required and does not count toward the minimum page requirement.

6.         Contestants must be prepared to answer questions if asked by one or more judges.  

7.         Essays and an application must be mailed and post marked on or before Saturday, April 30, 2018. Please mail to: 

Essay Competition
P.O. Box 446
Park Forest, IL 60466

        Essays are judged by the following criteria:

1. Creativity and literary expression of subject matter

2. Grammar usage, spelling, and overall organization

3. Degree of complexity of topic and contestantís knowledge of subject matter

4. Credibility of cited resources and research materials

5. Quantity of supporting documentation using Footnotes & Bibliography

An essay is an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view.

An original essay is the written expression of its author's opinion. At best, an essay blends facts with imagination, knowledge, and emotions, never giving itself wholly to one or the other. The essay's purpose is always the same: to express an opinion about a specific subject. Therefore, the writer should feel strongly about the topic; one that he or she has experienced, witnessed, or has a serious opinion or interest in the subject.