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High School Essay Competition

The Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (“CBN-MC”) is delighted to announce its 21st Annual Catholic High School Scholarship Awards.  We invite all eligible individuals to enter an essay for consideration.  The rules and procedures are set forth below.  All essays must be received or postmarked by December 17, 2021.

CBN-MC will award scholarships to eighth grade students selected for the quality of their essays who will enter a Catholic High School in the Washington Metropolitan Area in the fall of 2022.  The scholarships are for the students’ freshman year.  The awards will be presented at The Scholarship Awards Breakfast, to be held in April 2022. All winners, their parents, principals & pastors are invited as our guests at this event.  Once attendance at an area Catholic High School is confirmed by the winners in May of 2022, checks will be sent directly to the high school in the summer of 2022.



 To be eligible, students must be entering a Washington Area Catholic High School as a freshman in the fall of 2022.


 Students must submit a typewritten essay according to the following:  The Essay must be no more than 500 words, typewritten using Times Roman or Courier, minimum 12 point font, double spaced and must be the student’s own work.  The schools may use this as an assignment, but ungraded and unedited essays should be submitted to CBN-MC. PARENTS AND STUDENTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN A CERTIFICATION WITH THEIR ESSAY THAT THIS IS THE STUDENT’S OWN WORK PRODUCT.   The essay must be well written and will be judged anonymously on style and grammar, clarity of content, innovation and creativity, and conformity with the topic.  The essay should be submitted in duplicate and have a cover page with the student’s name, address, phone number, email address of the parents, the name of the school or parish and must be SIGNED by the student AND parent/guardian as follows, “We certify that the attached essay is my own work product that has not otherwise been edited or revised.”  The duplicate should be attached to the original but should not have the student’s name on it.  It will be assigned a number by CBN-MC and essays will be sent randomly to volunteer judges. All essays submitted will become the property of CBN-MC.  CBN-MC reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding eligibility. In the event for any reason the winners do not attend an area Catholic High School, the runner up in that category will receive the scholarship.  

Essay Topic

We make roughly 35,000 decisions each day — from picking out drinks at 7- Eleven, to who to follow on social media, to deciding which high school to attend or when to go to Mass. 


Two thousand years ago, Jesus spoke to this difficulty in making decisions and, more specifically, choosing what invitations we should accept.

Here are his words from Luke 14:16-24.

“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he   sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 

"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 

And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have  me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 

"So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the  house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city,  and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be  filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”


 Reflect on your life. Decisions tend to define us. How do you juggle the invitations you receive?

 Consider the following questions as you share how you make decisions in your own life. 

In no more than 500 words, address the following:

  • What is Jesus saying on a deeper level in this parable? How might this parable apply to your decision making?
  • How do you decide what invitations to accept? What are the factors you consider?
  • At your young age, how do you decide where to concentrate your energies - family, friends, fun, work, chores, social media, God and your faith?
  • Who do you seek help from in making these decisions?


Due Date:

Essays should lead with a cover sheet that has the name, school and contact information of the student, as indicated above. This information will not be shared with evaluators. All essays must be RECEIVED by CBN-MC, or postmarked, NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 17, 2021:


c/o Ana Chapa, Don Bosco Cristo Rey

1010 Larch Ave

Takoma Park, MD 20912


Click HERE for a PDF