2012 Young Patriots Essay Contest – Win Up to $5,000 in College Scholarships!

This is the contest page for Young Patriots 2012-2013. If you are looking for the current topic & rules, please go to Young Patriots Essay Contest 2015-2016 Scholarship Page



The National Center for Policy Analysis and Debate Central are proud to announce the 2012 Young Patriots Essay Contest!

The topic of this year’s essay contest is:  “What is the proper role of the government in insuring people against major social risks?”

This year’s topic addresses government social insurance for the risks that everyone faces.   “For as long as there have been human societies, people have faced these same risks,” said John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

  • The risk of growing too old and outliving their assets.
  • The risk of dying young and leaving their dependents with inadequate resources.
  • The risk of becoming disabled and unable to work and produce.
  • The risk of becoming unemployed and finding there is no market for their skills.”

The Young Patriots Essay Contest is designed to challenge high school students to creatively solve problems in the realm of public policy through the art of writing. We assign a controversial topic each year and only THREE winners are chosen out of hundreds of essay submissions.

Entrants have the opportunity to:

  • Earn a college scholarship of up to $5,000
  • Have your essay published on Debate Central
  • Have your essay shared with 300,000 NCPA Policy Patriots via email
  • Have your winning entry be sent to your hometown newspapers, radio and TV

All essays must be submitted by Friday, November 23 at 11:00pm EST. No late submissions will be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How should I format my entry?
A. Essays should be written in English, with submissions of up to 1,200 words. Essays exceeding this length will not be considered. Please submit your entry as a Microsoft Word document.

Also be sure to include all essential information, including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail address in the body of the e-mail.

Q. How do I submit my entry?
E-mail your submission to lauren DOT sabino AT ncpa DOT org

Each e-mail submission will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received.

Q. What happens if I exceed the word limit?
A. Your essay will not be considered. There is no word minimum.

Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous?
A. No. We must be able to publish both your essay and name.

Q. How should I format citations?
A. In the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Citations should be listed in a ‘Works Cited’ page at the end of the document. An example of a citation in this format from a web resource is listed below:

Goodman, John. What is Wrong with the Drug Industry? John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog. National Center for Policy Analysis, 23 Sept. 2011. Web. 24 Sep. 2011. ‹http://healthblog.ncpathinktank.org/whats-wrong-with-the-drug-industry/›.

For additional citation questions please consult Purdue University’s free online formatting and style guide.

Q. Do I need to attach a cover letter?
A. No.

Q. Is there anything else you can tell me about how to stand out from the crowd?
A. Yes. Here are a few suggestions for participants:

  • Stick to the subject and topic. Submitting your essay in the proper format is essential, but the substance of your essay is the most important part. If you write a fantastic essay that doesn’t address the central question you won’t win.
  • Submit a professional document. Double check grammar and spelling and try to make rambling sentences more concise.
  • Follow and demonstrate a clear vision. This contest leaves lots of room to address the subject in a variety of ways. Students should attempt to be creative, clear and persuasive in their approach to the topic.

Q. Is there just one prize?

A. No. First, second and third prizes will be awarded in the amounts of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 respectively.