Democracy and Me Student Essay Competition

Student Essay Cpmetition

Update June 30, 2019: WVXU is happy to announce the winners of the Democracy and Me Student Essay Competition!

Scholarship Winners: Jack Munzel from Archbishop McNicholas High School and Anna Papakirk from The Seven Hills School.

Honorable Mention Award: Maggie Sampson from Madeira High School.

(Click on the links to read each student’s essay.)

Winning Teacher: Amanda Weatherwax from Talawanda High School.

The Democracy and Me Student Essay Competition asked students to express thoughts on the role of media in our democracy using this writing prompt:

What can a citizen do to ensure the news they consume is valid and trustworthy? Do you think you can tell the difference between a valid news source and “Fake News?” 

Entry Requirements:

  • Entry must be original work by a student in grades 8-12
  • Essay can be no more than 500 words
  • Essay must utilize 3 valid sources
  • Submission Deadline: May 31, 2019

Two $1,000 scholarships to be used for high school or college expenses in 2019 / 2020 will be awarded.
Two winning essays will be selected and announced prior to June 30, 2019.
Winning essays will be shared at Additionally selected essays may also be recognized and featured

Your Teacher Can Benefit Too:
Teachers of students submitting essays to the competition will be included in a random drawing to win a $500 cash prize to utilize in their classroom. Teachers with multiple students participating will receive an entry for each student. One winner will be selected at random prior to June 30, 2019.

Complete the form below to submit your essay.

Democracy and Me Student Essay Competition Official Rules

1. How to Enter
No Purchase Necessary. Promotion begins at 12:00 AM ET on Thursday, April 25, 2019, and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Friday, May 31, 2019. To enter the competition, visit the Democracy and Me website at You will be automatically entered in the competition when you provide your name, address and email address, school and teacher information, and essay on the submission form provided at You must provide all information required on the form in addition to the submitted essay. Essays must be a student’s original work and no longer than 500 words. Entries can also be made by mail. Accompanying the essay must be the student’s name, address, email address, school, and teacher. Entries must be mail to Democracy and Me Student Writing Competition, WVXU, 1223 Central Parkway, Cincinnati OH, 45214.

Limit one entry per person, address, e-mail address or household, regardless of method of entry. No responsibility is assumed by the Sponsor for lost, late, damaged, incomplete, stolen, postage due, illegible, or misdirected mail, or for human error or any computer, online, telephone, or technical malfunctions that may occur. All entries become the property of Cincinnati Public Radio and will not be returned.

All teachers’ names included in the entries submitted will be placed in a random drawing which will take place between June 1 and June 30, 2019.

2. Winner Selection/Announcement Dates
After May 31, 2019, written entries will be reviewed and two winners selected by a judging team identified by WVXU, utilizing the competition’s judging rubrics. 
After May 31, 2019, all teachers’ names received in entry submissions will be placed in a drawing with a winner selected at random.
Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.  
Winners will be announced by WVXU via on-air announcement, website and email by June 30, 2019.

3. Prize
Essay Competition winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship that can be used for high school or college expenses. No substitution, transfer, or assignment of the prize is permitted by the winner. Only two (2) prizes will be presented.

Teacher Drawing: One teacher name will be selected in a random drawing to receive $500 that can be used for classroom resources. No substitution, transfer, or assignment of the prize is permitted by the winner. Only one prize will be presented.

4. Eligibility
Students entering the competition must be attending school, or home school, and in grades 8 to 12. Employees of WVXU, Cincinnati Public Radio, its affiliated radio stations and their respective affiliated and subsidiary companies, partners and members of the immediate families or households of such employees are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

5. General Conditions
The competition entrants agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of the judges, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Sweepstakes. This competition is governed by the laws of the United States. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. All federal and state taxes on the prize are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. The prizes will be awarded and the first winner will be notified via email, mail or phone by June 30, 2019.

6. Notification
Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. In the event that the winner declines the prize, it is at Cincinnati Public Radio’s discretion to choose an alternate winner or retain the prize for another drawing or purpose. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Cincinnati Public Radio to use winner’s name and state of residence for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless prohibited by law. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Cincinnati Public Radio from any and all liability or any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this competition or any prize won.

7. Contest void where prohibited by law.