Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest
Students can win up to $2,000 for college by writing an essay discussing whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays in the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. To enter, students must write an 800-1,200 word essay responding to the following prompt:
In most public high schools, certain days are marked as religious holidays on the school calendar, and the schools are closed on those days. As public schools become more diverse, some students’ religious holy day(s) are not days that the schools are closed, resulting in absences for those students.
In an essay, discuss whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays.
Consider how school administrators should determine if, or which, religious holy days are included in the school calendar, or if any school policies should be changed to better accommodate students’ religious exercise. Be sure your essay identifies how the First Amendment supports your position.
Click here to download and print the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest entry forms
Students should develop a point of view, demonstrate critical thinking and use appropriate examples, arguments and other evidence to support their position. Any high school student graduating in 2018 or 2019 is eligible to enter the contest. There is no religious requirement. Entries must be mailed and postmarked by March 9, 2018.
The grand prize is a $2,000 scholarship and a trip for two to Washington, D.C. Prizes of $1,000 for the second place winner and $500 for the third place winner are also available. Winners will be announced by the end of summer 2018.
The annual Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest engages high school students in church-state issues by directing them to express a point of view on a religious liberty topic. Essays are judged on the depth of their content, the mastery of the topic, and the skill with which they are written. Students should develop a point of view on the issue and demonstrate critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons and other evidence to support their position. The annual contest is sponsored by the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee.
For questions on the 2018 essay contest, read these FAQs or contact Charles Watson Jr. at cwatson@BJConline.org or call 202-544-4226.
The Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholarships in Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Criminal Justice pays full tuition each year for three students of outstanding academic merit and leadership potential who demonstrate a strong commitment to work in an organization in the U.S. or abroad on civil rights, civil liberties or criminal justice issues for at least three years. This obligation begins upon graduation from the Law School or, if the scholar is hired as a judicial clerk, upon completion of his or her clerkship(s). If a scholar fails to live up to this commitment, the scholar must repay the scholarship.
The scholarships are named after Filomen D'Agostino ('20), a trailblazer in the legal profession, and a rare woman lawyer in that time. Her generosity helped transform NYU School of Law. She and her husband, Max E. Greenberg, donated D'Agostino Hall, one of the most important buildings on the NYU Law campus, as well as the beautiful Greenberg Lounge in Vanderbilt Hall, and also endowed The Max E. Greenberg Professorship in Contract Law and the D'Agostino-Greenberg Faculty Research Fund.
This scholarship is administered as part of the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship Program; D'Agostino scholars are selected as part of the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship selection process and participate in all program activities including the first-year orientation and monthly dinners. For more information please review the Root-Tilden-Kern program description and see how to apply. To apply for the D’Agostino scholarship, you should discuss in your public service essay your interest in civil rights, civil liberties, and/or criminal justice.