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High School Essay Competition

The Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (“CBN-MC”) is delighted to announce its 19th 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 20, 2019.

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 2020.  The scholarships are for the student’s freshman year.  The awards will be presented at The Scholarship Awards Breakfast, to be held in April 2020. 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 2020, checks will be sent directly to the high school in the summer of 2020.


To be eligible, students must be entering a Washington Area Catholic High School as a freshman in the fall of 2020.


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

In the Gospel of Luke, he recounts the appearance of Jesus on the Road to Emmaus shortly after the Resurrection. Jesus walked among two gentleman who did not recognize him on the way to Emmaus. They conversed with Jesus on the path and as evening came, these travelers invited Jesus to stay with them as it was getting dark.  That night, while at the table eating, Jesus:

“took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight…..So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, ‘The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!’ Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

The story of Jesus and the travelers on the Road to Emmaus is a powerful example of how we can find Jesus, even when we are not looking for him. In a 250-500 word essay, answer the following questions that relate to this passage:

Once Jesus blessed the bread, he was recognized by the travelers. What are the signs or events in your life that help you realize Jesus is present with you? How do you know that Jesus is present with you?

Describe a time in your life where you failed to recognize the Christ-like presence of Jesus?

What can you do to be more aware that Jesus is present in your life?

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 20, 2019:


c/o Joseph Powers, The Woods Academy

6801 Greentree Road

Bethesda, MD 20817