Black History Month Essay Competition 

The 2012 contest topic centers on the words of George Washington Carver

January 13, 2012

The annual Black History Month Essay Competition is open to all Chicago Public School high school students. Sponsored by CPS, the American Bottling Company and Roosevelt University, all freshman, sophomore, junior and senior students are encouraged to participate.


The four students with the best essays in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade categories will each receive a laptop computer and printer, as well as a $5,000 Roosevelt University scholarship. The four students with the second best essays in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade categories will each receive a digital camera and photo printer. The competition winners, their families and their school principals and teachers will be invited to an awards banquet at which all winners will be recognized and receive their prizes.


This year's essay topic centers on the words of George Washington Carver, African-American scientist, who said:


"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all these."


  • What events in Carver's life could have made him say this?
  • Describe a situation in your own life that relates to these words and how you think it will influence your future behavior.


Entry Form and Instructions:

Rules for the competition and entry forms are available at each high school or may be downloaded here . Students must submit their essays to the school essay competition coordinator by Feb. 21, 2012. Essays will be judged on originality and creativity; cultural knowledge and research; organizational structure and clarity; as well as spelling and grammar.


Instructions for the competition may be downloaded here . Please read and follow them carefully to ensure that your school´s essays are entered in the competition.



Essays must be turned in to the school Competition Coordinator no later than Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.


The best essay from each grade level must be faxed to Central Office no later than Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012.


Questions? If you have a question that´s not covered in the competition instructions, you may contact Babette Klein at 773-553-2859 or



To view some of the documents provided on this page, you need Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this program, click download Adobe Acrobat Reader nowOpens in a new window iconand follow the instructions.

Photo gallery
George Washington Carver
Photo gallery: George Washington Carver