Every year, Let Grow asks high school students to think about the importance of free speech, curiosity, and open-mindedness in their everyday lives. We award a $5,000 scholarship to the Grand Prize Winner, and $1,000 each to three Runners-Up.
Students submit 600-800 word essays about their personal experiences with these ideas. We like real-life stories of growth and change.
Since launching in 2018 we have received over 25,000 entries and awarded $40,000 in college scholarships.
Take a look at our real-world prompts and get writing! Entries are due April 30 and winners will be announced in August.
Write about a time you could have taken offense at what someone said about you or an important issue, but decided not to. Why did you decide that, and what did you learn from the experience? (Offense)
Some say teens and even young adults in college should be shielded from controversial books, ideas, or speakers. Do you agree? Why or why not? If yes, who would you let decide what you could be exposed to? (Books)
How has social media impacted your willingness to be authentic, share your true thoughts, learn about other people’s ideas, and/or engage seriously with them? Please give us one or more examples. (Social Media)
Write about a time someone changed your mind about an idea or belief you strongly held. How did this change happen and what did you learn from the process? Is there anything you’ll do differently from now on? (Belief)
Write about a time you didn't speak up -- or almost didn't -- for fear your idea or viewpoint might be unpopular. Was this the right decision and would you do the same thing again? (Speak Up)