Father Of Our Nation Essay Contest

Essay Contest

“What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest

NOTE:  This year’s What My Father Means to Me Essay Contests in Minnesota and Kansas City have been suspended while we focus resources on growing our father involvement in education program – WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students).  Thank you for your interest in participating in the Contest and leading students to consider the value of an involved father or father figure.  Some teachers are going ahead with the essay writing assignment and having their students share their essay with their father or father figure.  We applaud and encourage such efforts!

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is a great way to engage fathers directly in their children’s education by inviting them to volunteer at least one day a year at school.  Active in over 5,000 schools, WATCH D.O.G.S. is a triple win for dads, kids and schools.  Learn more HERE.

The “What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest was created by the National Center for Fathering (NCF) in 1992 in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of fathering. For the past two decades, the Essay Contest has given a voice to over 1,000,000 school-aged children, allowing them the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings on the topic, “What My Father Means to Me.” Their words speak loudly to the important role fathers and father figures play in the lives of children.

Before Father’s Day each year, NCF hosts the Father of the Year Celebration to spotlight students who placed in the essay contest and to name a “Father of the Year”.

The “What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest is made possible through the collaborative efforts of corporations, local businesses and volunteers committed to inspiring and equipping men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers, and father figures their children need. The Father of the Year Celebration event celebrates the dads and father figures nominated by children.

2017 To Be Determined

2015 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests

Our Sponsors & Partners

Please join us in thanking and congratulating our sponsors and partners. These generous organizations support the “What my Father Means to Me” Essay Contest and the Father of the Year Celebrations through the provision of gifts and rewards for the winners and participants as well as volunteers to read the thousands of essays that are received each year. Without their generous and enthusiastic support, the “What my Father Means to Me” Essay Contests would not be possible.

The Impact of This ContestExcerpts from Essays

2014 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests

2013 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has greatly expanded its role in international security. Major conflicts have been waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, and more. Defense guarantees have been extended to more than a dozen additional nations. The War on Terror, now in its seventeenth year, involves seventy-six countries. There are some eight hundred overseas military bases, costing taxpayers an estimated $100 billion per year even as the national debt grows.

Proponents argue that these extensive global security commitments are essential to America’s own safety. Are they right? If they are, is each and every current commitment worth the costs and risks? Questions like these deserve serious consideration. Accordingly, the John Quincy Adams Society is partnering with The National Interestone of Washington’s most important foreign-policy magazines—to launch a new essay contest for college students. The winners will run in TNI, meaning they’ll be read by many of those who make the decisions and shape the discussions that set our country’s course in the world. By appearing in such a respected forum, you’ll help make a name for yourself as a thoughtful, professional voice in international affairs.

It’s a tremendous opportunity to restore balance to the discourse in DC—and to build your own personal brand. Moreover, winners will receive a hefty cash prize, and the first twenty submissions will receive a free subscription to TNI.

With this in mind, submissions shall answer the following question:

In what area of the world could the United States reduce its military involvement? Explain your reasoning.

Submit your entry here.


Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students who will be attending institutions in the United States in Fall 2018 or who attended in Spring 2018 are welcome to participate.

The winning essays will run on TNI’s website and be promoted on social media by both TNI and JQA.

Prizes are as follows:

- First prize (one): $1000, essay featured on TNI, two year subscription to TNI

- Runner up (two): $250, essay featured on TNI, one year subscription to TNI

Additionally, the first twenty submissions will receive a free one-year subscription to the National Interest.

If you’re stuck, consider reading some of the articles in the Intellectual Development section of the Society's Resources page.

Submissions shall be between 900 and 1500 words, and are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, April 8, 2018, by following the instructions at this link. Sources should be hyperlinked, rather than footnoted, when possible. Complete rules follow.

Student Foreign Policy Essay CONTEST RULES

1. SPONSOR: The sponsor of the Student Foreign Policy Essay Contest is the John Quincy Adams Society.

2. ELIGIBILITY: Contest entrants must be legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia aged eighteen years or older, except where prohibited. Employees, officers, and directors of the sponsor, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, and divisions (“Related Entities”) and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings and their spouses) and household members (whether or not related) of each are not eligible to enter. Anyone serving as a contest judge is ineligible for the contest. The contest is void outside the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and where prohibited and restricted by any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation (“Law”). The contest is subject to all Law.

3. HOW TO ENTER: The contest begins on February 26, 2018 at 12 p.m. EST and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday, April 8, 2018. This time frame is known as the “contest period.” To be eligible for the contest, you must:

- Before the end of the contest period, go to the contest entry page at this link, and submit an essay between 900 and 1500 words in length on the topic of “the benefits of a more restrained, careful foreign policy for the United States.”


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