Write about civic courage | Win a $5,000 scholarship
Who is your civic hero? The Stim Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship is an opportunity for local students to write essays about an individual or group of individuals from Washington State who have demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community at great personal, political, or professional risk.
Meet the 2023 winners and read their essays here. Watch the video below to hear from past winners about the inspiration they drew from the library and what civic courage means to them!
The 2024 contest is open until March 15. Click here to start the essay process and submit.
To qualify to submit an essay, you must:
- Reside, attend school, or work in Seattle.
- Be 13 years of age or older.
- Have a Seattle Public Library card.
- Be a current high school senior or undergraduate enrolled or planning to enroll at a post-secondary school that accepts Federal Student Aid (FSA).
In your essay be sure to:
- Provide a persuasive case as to how the individual or group you have selected has embodied or demonstrated civic courage.
- Define civic courage in order to make your argument.
To qualify for the competition, the essay must:
- Draw upon at least three credible sources.
- Utilize in-text citations, preferably using the MLA format (find formatting guidance online, for example at Purdue Owl).
- Provide a works cited page, preferably using the MLA format.
- Be between 1,500 and 2,000 words (excluding the citations or works cited).
- Be double-spaced and use Times New Roman 12-point font.
You are highly encouraged to refer to the Essay Judging Rubric as you write and review your essay.
Please see the Official Rules for complete details on eligibility and essay requirements.
1st Place: $5,000 scholarship
Runners-up: Two $2,500 scholarships
In addition to the scholarship prize, the winning essays will be added to the collection in the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room at The Seattle Public Library.
The Legacy Behind the Scholarship
Learn more about Stimson Bullitt, a great civic leader. Click here.
Inspiration, Examples and Research Assistance
- Read the past winning essays. We encourage you to find your own civic hero!
- Research assistance is available from librarians at all Seattle Public Library locations. The Foundation also supports free one-on-one tutoring at the Library through Homework Help or virtually through Tutor.com.
- Helpful online resources are available for research, including: Special Collections at The Seattle Public Library, SPL African American Collection, HistoryLink.org, BlackPast, and University of Washington Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project.
Watch the video below for more details on the scholarship and how previous winners found inspiration: