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Westport Hosts Teen Diversity Essay Contest

Members of TEAM Westport and the Westport Library are holding their annual teen essay contest that begins next month.
Members of TEAM Westport and the Westport Library are holding their annual teen essay contest that begins next month. Photo Credit: TEAM Westport/Facebook

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Teens with a flair for writing will want to take part in the upcoming annual teen Diversity Essay Contest sponsored by TEAM Westport and the Westport Library.

Held for the third consecutive year, the contest is open to students in grades 9-12 who attend Staples High School, another school in Westport, or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere.

The topic for this year's essay is the rapidly changing public awareness, attitudes and discussion surrounding race in America. This year’s premise for entrants states, “In the past year a troubling number of highly charged and tragic incidents – from Ferguson to Charleston to Chicago – have prompted public discussions and protests on college campuses about the state of race relations in the U.S. People disagree on the nature of the problem and on the appropriate way to address divisions in our society.”

In 1,000 words or less, potential entrants are invited to “describe how you, personally, make sense of the events that have occurred.” Applications for the contest will be available on the TEAM Westport website on Monday, Jan. 4.

Essays are due Feb. 26. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Westport Library on April 4.

At the discretion of the judges and subject to the volume and caliber of entries received, up to three prizes will be awarded. The first prize is $1,000, the second is $750, and the third prize is $500. Individuals or organizations who would like to participate in sponsorship of the contest are invited to contribute by contacting TEAM Westport via .

Harold Bailey, TEAM Westport’s chair since its founding, says: “The focus of this year’s topic is to help extend the perspectives of Westport teens beyond those which would normally be driven by local demographics. In particular, this topic is one which has touched our community and others in Fairfield County directly over the past year. We sincerely invite and encourage any and all potential entrants to follow through on their essay submissions.”

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