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High School Essay Competition

The Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (“CBN-MC”) is delighted to announce its 22nd Annual Catholic High School Scholarship Awards.  We invite all eligible Montgomery County Catholic Schools to participate.  The selection process is new this year.  Please read the instructions carefully.  The rules and procedures are set forth below.  Each school's top essays MUST BE RECEIVED by January 20, 2022.  

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 2023.  The scholarships are for the students’ freshman year.  The awards will be presented at The Scholarship Awards Breakfast, to be held in April 2023. 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 2023, checks will be sent directly to the high school in the summer of 2023.



 To be eligible, students must be entering a Washington Area Catholic High School as a freshman in the fall of 2023.


Schools must submit their top 3-5 essays by January 20th, 2023. In order to be eligible the following rules must be followed:
● Each eligible school will receive the prompt in November. Each participating school will distribute the prompt to the eligible 8th graders. 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 no more than 500 words, typewritten using Times New Roman or Courier, minimum 12 point font, double spaced and must be the student’s own work.
● The essay must be well written and should be judged by the 8th grade teacher, or other school leader, on style and grammar, clarity of content, innovation and creativity, and conformity with the topic.
Each school is to select the top 3-5 essays for submission. The selected essays 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 duplicates should be in one stack and the originals in another to ensure blind judging.
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 runners up in that category will receive the scholarship.
● Each participating school should send the essay packages to the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County at: P. O. Box 34549, Bethesda, MD 20827
● All entries must be received by January 20th, 2023. Winners will be notified in March.

Essay Prompt

In preparing for the next World Youth Day, Pope Francis pleads with the young: “Dear young people, cry out with your life that Christ lives, that Christ reigns, that Christ is the Lord!” Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of young people in our society. He does not ask what young people will do as adults but rather encourages young people to put their values into action today.

Pope Francis invites all youth to reflect on the following scripture passage from the Gospel of Luke:
     Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord: let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. In those days Mary set out and went with haste. (Luke 1: 38-39)

Consider what the call from Pope Francis means for you. How are your actions an example of your faith?

Reflect on your actions. Our actions are a message to the world of who we are and in what we believe.

Consider the following questions as you share how your actions represent your values and beliefs.

In no more than 500 words, address the following:
● Do you agree with Pope Francis that young people should put their values into action today?
● What message is Luke sending us through this passage? How might this apply to your own life?
● Give at least one example of you putting your beliefs into action.
● Does attending a Catholic school support you as you put your beliefs into actions?

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 CBN evaluators. All essays must be RECEIVED by CBN-MC, NO LATER THAN January 20th, 2023:

c/o Ana Chapa
P. O. Box 34549
Bethesda, MD 20827


Click HERE for a PDF