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High School Essay Competition

The Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (“CBN-MC”) is delighted to announce its 20th 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 18, 2020.
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 2021. The scholarships are for the student’s freshman year. The awards will be presented at The Scholarship Awards Breakfast, typically held in the spring. 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 2021, checks will be sent directly to the high school in the summer of 2021.



To be eligible, students must be entering a Washington Area Catholic High School as a freshman in the fall of 2021.


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 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

As our nation copes with the timelessness of hate, we invite you to consider timeless and timely expressions of love. The Bible passage below comes from the Gospel of Matthew. Please read the passage and answer the questions below.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'”                                              Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 22: 37 - 40

In a 250-500 word essay please address the following questions. Feel free to refer to the quotations above as you see fit: In your daily walk, where have you witnessed hatred or disrespect and how have you “loved your neighbor” in response? Where have you experienced or witnessed "extraordinary" love as a way to combat hatred? How does your faith and relationship with God guide you to “love your neighbor” as a Christian. What concrete action(s) can you take as a Christian to promote more love and understanding in the world?

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 18, 2020:

c/o Joseph Powers, The Woods Academy
6801 Greentree Road
Bethesda, MD 20817