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2022 LUW Essay Contest

How Housing Influences Your Future and the Future of Our Community is the topic for the 2022 student essay contest sponsored by Lifting Up Westchester, a nonprofit agency committed to helping individuals experiencing homelessness or hunger achieve self-sufficiency.

Open to Westchester students in the 7th through the 12th grades, this year’s contest invites students to think about the role housing plays in influencing our future and the future of our community.  We know that stable, adequate housing is a critical foundation on which all other individual and family success can be built. How can we help ensure adequate housing for all our neighbors?   

Essays must explore and discuss:
  • Housing in Westchester.  Did you know that tens of thousands of Westchester residents are living in homes where their tenancy is unstable?
  • Shelters for homeless individuals in Westchester.  Did you know there are 1,800 individuals living in shelters every night in Westchester County?
  • Unstable housing.  Did you know that even more individuals and families have to “couch surf” or live within overcrowded quarters to have a roof over their head?
  • Economic Impact of the Pandemic.  The Pandemic exacerbated problems for a much broader socio-economic group that lost jobs or had salaries reduced at a time that rents and mortgages have risen faster than income or earnings.
  • Other Consequences.  Did you know that there are negative physical and mental health as well as educational consequences to experiencing inadequate housing and all forms of homelessness? 
Here are some resources to learn more: 
www.endhomelessness.org – National Alliance to End Homelessness
www.Hudexchange.info – HUD Data and Reports
www.homes.westchestergov.com – Westchester County Data and Reports
www.housingmatters.urban.org – An Urban Institute Initiative

ESSAYS ARE DUE JANUARY 17, 2022, BY 5PM

Winners will be announced the week of February 21, 2022:
Essays will be judged by grade group or as an ESL student as follows:
  • 7th & 8th grades
  • 9th & 10th grades
  • 11th & 12th grades
  • ESL (submissions from grades 7 through 12)
Twelve prizes in total will be awarded including first, second and third prize winners in each of three grades and in the ESL category
  • 1st prize - $500
  • 2nd prize - $250
  • 3rd prize - $100
A panel of judges has been assembled to read and score each essay.  At least three judges will read the essay and score based upon criteria outlined below.  Students can go online to Lifting Up Westchester for resources to help them write their essays.  Questions can be submitted to luwessaycontest@gmail.com 
 

This contest has been funded in loving memory of Beth Massey Rubens, a lifelong teacher, tutor, and mentor with a particular love for language arts.
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Rules & Regulations
ESSAYS ARE DUE JANUARY 17, 2022, BY 5PM
  • Any student in grades 7 through 12 who is a Westchester County resident or goes to school in Westchester can participate in the contest. 
  • Students must include their name, grade, school and contact information (mailing address, telephone number and a personal email for either themselves or parents/guardians).
  • Essays must be original work of the student.
  • Essays must be between 750 and 1,000 words.
  • If English is the student’s second language, student can enter the ESL category.   
Parent or guardian consent will be required as part of the submission.  This constitutes permission for publication of the submitted essay, the student’s name, and photograph.

Questions can be submitted to luwessaycontest@gmail.com 
 
This contest has been funded in loving memory of Beth Massey Rubens, a lifelong teacher, tutor, and mentor with a particular love for language arts.
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