Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter

Physicians for Social Responsibility
Sacramento Chapter


PSR High School Scholarship Essay Contest

Announcement of 2018 High School Scholarship Essay Contest

Open to High School Seniors in Sacramento and Surrounding Counties

Total Scholarship Awards in the Amount of $15,000

Sponsored by the Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility

Note: Deadline for entry is 11:59 PM on Saturday, March 24, 2018

Essay Topic

To enter the 2018 PSR/Sacramento Scholarship Essay Contest, students must submit an original essay of 500 words or fewer describing their thoughts about the following quotation by the Iranian women’s rights advocate, Mahnaz Afkhami:

“The connection between women’s human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development, and peace is increasingly apparent.”

Contest Eligibility and Rules

  • Contestants must be high school seniors (or students who entered high school on track to graduate in 2018 but who graduated early) attending school in Sacramento County or in one of the following surrounding counties: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, or Yuba.
  • Contestants must be in good academic standing.
  • Contestants are encouraged to discuss the essay topic with teachers, parents, friends, and other mentors, but each contestant must write the essay himself or herself, in his or her own words.
  • Contestants who are under the age of 18 must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian to enter the contest.
  • To enter the contest, students must submit their essays and demographic information via the online entry system available at the following UR: http://sacpsr.org/index.php/essay-contest/online-entry/.1
  • Essays may include a title and footnotes, but these elements are not required. Titles and footnotes do not count toward the 500 word limit.
  • In order to be eligible for a scholarship award, students who are chosen as finalists or alternate finalists must also submit an essay contest signature form which includes a statement signed by the contestant documenting that the essay being submitted is his or her original work; a statement signed by a parent or legal guardian if the student is under age 18 confirming that the parent or guardian approves of the student’s participation in the scholarship essay contest; and a statement by a school official confirming that the contestant is a student in good standing, on track to graduate from the 12th grade in 2018, or that the student entered high school on track to graduate in 2018 but graduated early. A blank essay contest signature form will be sent via email to students chosen as finalists or alternate finalists along with the notification of their being chosen.
  • The deadline for students to submit their online essay and demographic information is 11:59 PM on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
  • Late entries will not be accepted unless the delay was caused by a malfunction of the PSR/Sacramento server or online entry system.

1 An exception to this rule will be considered for students who do not have access to a computer and/or access to the internet. If students are not able to submit their essays online, they must contact PSR/Sacramento by telephone at 916-955-6333 or by U.S. mail at 10 Dumfries Court, Sacramento, CA, 95831 at least two weeks prior to the contest entry deadline to arrange an alternate method of submitting their essays and demographic information.

Selection of Scholarship Winners

  • The PSR/Sacramento Steering Committee will establish a panel of PSR members and other qualified individuals in the community to judge essays based on accuracy, originality, clarity, cohesiveness, and overall impact. Essay readers will be blinded to student demographic information. The panel will select 10 finalists and two alternates by Monday, April 9, 2018. The 10 finalists and two alternates will be contacted by email and/or telephone on April 16 at the email address and/or telephone number the students provided in their online contest entry forms. The signature forms described above will also be sent as email attachments to the 10 finalists and two alternate finalists at this time.
    • The 10 finalists will be invited to present their essays orally at a dinner open to the public on the evening of Sunday, May 6, 2018 at a venue to be announced in Sacramento.
    • Finalists must participate in the May 6 finals dinner presentation to be eligible for scholarship awards. Finalists must return completed signature forms and confirm by Friday, April 27, that they will be participating in the May 6 finals event, or an alternate finalist may be invited to participate in their place. Alternate finalists must also return their signature forms by April 22 to be eligible for scholarship awards.
  • A panel of judges selected from the community will listen to the essay presentations at the finals dinner and will ask one question of each finalist concerning his or her presentation. Finalists will be given up to two and a half minutes to respond to the judges’ questions. Following all presentations and questions, judges will choose the first, second, and third place winners, based on the combined quality of the essay presentations and the responses to the judges’ questions.

Contest Prizes (Total $15,000)

  • First place winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship; second place a $2,500 scholarship; and third place a $2,000 scholarship
  • The other seven contestants participating in the April 29, 2018 finals event will each receive $1,000 scholarships.
  • If all 10 finalists participate in the finals dinner presentation, the two alternate finalists will both receive $250 scholarships. If one or more of the 10 finalists cannot be present at the finals dinner and an alternate finalist takes his or her place, the alternate finalist will instead receive a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship and will be eligible for the first, second, or third place awards.
  • Scholarship awards may be applied toward any post-high school education-related expenses. Scholarship checks will be given to students at the finals dinner. If the alternate finalists are not present at the dinner, their checks will be mailed to them following the dinner.

Summary of Essay Contest Timeline

  • Deadline for entering the contest is 11:59 PM on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
  • The 10 finalists and two alternate finalists will be contacted by email and/or telephone on Monday, April 16, 2018.
  • The deadline for finalists to return completed signature forms and confirm that they will be able to participate in the May 6 essay contest finals dinner is Friday, April 27, 2018.
  • The essay contest finals dinner will be on the evening of Sunday, May 6, 2018, at a venue to be announced in Sacramento, California. The 10 finalists and two alternate finalists (if present) will be given their scholarship checks at that time.

For additional information or questions, please email essaycontest@sacpsr.org or call (916) 955-6333.

Past Essay Contest Prompts, Winners, and Winners’ Essays: