Youth for Truth & Life

Student Essay Contest Rules

Essay Question: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 NIV. What does the phrase, “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.” mean to you?

Eligibility and Criteria: Students in 7th – 12th grade, in the school year 2019-2020, who agree to the terms. This contest will be for public, private, charter, and homeschool students who reside or attend a school in Muskegon County.

Two categories: 7th-8th grades 300-600 words / 9th-12th grades 750-1,000 words.

Requirements: Essay must be the original work of the student, typed in Times New Roman, 12pt font, double-spaced, and in APA or MLA format. A separate reference page is required (this is not part of the word count). We encourage students to take a position and support it with research, data, and reference material. No Wikipedia. No graphics.  

Pre-register at: for intent to enter the contest and for free summer writing workshops. Early-bird registrations received by June 20th will be entered into a $50 gift card drawing.

Summer Writing Workshops -To help improve your writing skills (dates to be announced). Visit our website: and follow us on Facebook:  for more information about summer workshops.

To enter: Fill out registration form and submit essay with separate cover page on our Submit Essay page.  Essays will be judged anonymously. Do not put your name, school, race, or national origin on your essay. Do not submit a photo. Only one entry per student. Contestants found in violation of this rule will be eliminated and forfeit eligibility to compete in the contest.


  • Knowledge of topic: 30 points - Demonstrate you have researched the issues thoroughly. Three sources minimum.
  • Development of topic: 25 points - Answer relevant facts such as: who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Clarity and persuasiveness of idea: 25 points - Help your reader clearly understand your position.
  • Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary: 20 points - Usage of advanced vocabulary is encouraged.

Awards for Essay Contest Winners are as follows:

7th – 8th grade 9th – 12th grade
1st Place: $500 1st Place: $1,500
2nd Place: $250 2nd Place:  $600
3rd Place: $150 3rd Place:  $300

In addition to the prizes listed above, the top six students will have their photo taken with Dr. Alveda King and will receive a signed copy of her book. The first place winner of each category will be given the opportunity to read their essay on stage at the Frauenthal event Oct.4th.

DEADLINE FOR ESSAY SUBMISSION: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by 5:00pm.

For Questions Contact:

Arline Helms from
Reviving the Foundations with Arline Helms