Essay Contest Submissions

How do you LIVE UNITED?

Hey kids, how do you make our community better?

Students in grades 3-5 should write about what they have done to improve their community, such as volunteering or helping neighbors. They are the #Next100 and we want to hear from them!

Greater Twin Cities United Way, Star Tribune and U.S. Bank have teamed up for the sixth year to sponsor this annual essay contest that gives children a chance to write about how they LIVE UNITED and make a positive impact in our community.

Teachers, parents and community leaders are encouraged to invite students to participate in the contest. Essays should be concise, inspirational and, most important, personal.

Volunteer judges will narrow entries to the top 100 essays, which will be sent to the Star Tribune. The paper’s team of judges will choose the 10 winning essays.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 winning essayists and their stories published in the Star Tribune.

The Details

What: An essay contest for children in grades 3-5. Submissions are welcome from families, community organizations and schools. (Teachers, please send only the top five per class.) Must include name, age, grade, address, phone number and email address.

Theme: Essays should be no more than 100 words and must incorporate the LIVE UNITED theme.

Deadline: Essays must be received by Friday, October 16.

Submit: Email essays to or send via postal mail to:
Greater Twin Cities United Way, Essay Contest
404 S. 8th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404

All entries must have the child’s name, age, grade and school and adult contact information, whether a teacher, parent or guardian. Essays without adult contact information will not be considered. Contact information will not be published.

Winners: The first-place winner will receive a $500 Visa gift card from U.S. Bank. The nine runners-up will each receive a $100 Visa gift card. All 10 winners will have their essays published in the Variety section of the Star Tribune on Tuesday, November 24.

More info: Call United Way at 612-340-7400.