Youth Platform - International High School Essay Contest |

Youth Platform - International High School Essay Contest

Award amount



JAN 31

Awards available


Scholarship title: Youth Platform - International High School Essay Contest

Applicable Majors: All Fields of Study

All high school students, enrolled in 9th through 12th grades, attending public or private schools from the United States and abroad.


The use of military means as a solution to today’s international and national political issues: Diplomacy or war, democracy or military coup?

Essay Requirements

Essays must/must be:

  • Written in English
  • Original, unpublished, and written entirely by student
  • Contain student’s original opinions and recommendations based on research
  • At least 1,500 words in length but no more than 2,000 (Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count)
  • Typed, double-spaced with margins: left: 1.5", right: 1", top: 1", bottom: 1", page-numbered
  • Include a bibliography
  • Comply with standards regarding citations and bibliography

Submission of Essays: How and When?

All essays must be submitted online.

  • Go to the event website at
  • Scroll down and fill out the “Registration Form”
  • Click on “Browse” to upload your essay
  • After uploading it, click on “Send” button.

Essays must be submitted as either Microsoft Word (.doc) file or Adobe Reader (.pdf) file.

Essay entries must be received by Monday, January 31.

Judging Criteria

Essay submissions will be judged on:

  • Content
  • Grammar
  • Originality
  • Style and vocabulary

Written discussion should advance the pieces in response to the topic. The decision of the judges is final as relating to all contest matters.

Awards & Recognition

  • 1st place: 4,000 USD + Trip to D.C.
  • 2nd place: 2,500 USD + Trip to D.C.
  • 3rd place: 1,000 USD + Trip to D.C.
  • 4th thru 20th place: 300 USD + Trip to D.C.
  • 20th thru 30th place: Trip to D.C.

All winners will receive a Certificate of Recognition.

Winners will be awarded in a ceremony that will take place in Washington, D.C. in March. During their 4-day trip to D.C., students and their teachers will have the opportunity to meet U.S. Congress members, and visit think tank organizations and tourist attractions including museums.

Winning students’ and their supervisors’ travel, accommodations and meal expenses will be sponsored.

How to address the topic:

The use of military means as a solution to today’s international and national political issues: Diplomacy or war, democracy or military coup?

Good governance relies upon responsible civic participation, equality, and rule of law. It involves political leadership, bureaucracy, civil society, community leaders and others who play a role in or influence decision-making and the implementation of laws and policies within society. For those who hope to prevent military interventions that lead to the deaths of civilians and the destruction of their country’s political and economic foundation, what are the possible ways to reduce the risk of military interventions, such as military coups, to provide new generations a safer and more democratic world?

  • Choose a case-study topic from a country that has experienced a military intervention in its recent history.
  • What forms of military interventions happened and why? How did military interventions affect the population and civil institutions in the country?
  • Based on your research provide recommendations for national leaders that would prevent conflict and enhance the democratization process in their countries


The Gulen Institute encourages all high school students from the U.S. and abroad to participate in this Essay Contest because it:

  • Helps young minds define problems related to stable peace and social harmony, discuss them, and offer possible solutions from their own perspectives
  • Contributes to achieving a positive impact on society by building social skills
  • Helps students improve research and writing skills that are so essential prior to college years
  • Is a lifetime opportunity for students to exchange ideas with their peers both from national and global levels

Youth Platform Committee Co-Chairs

  • Dr. Tom Gage, Professor Emeritus in English at Humboldt State University
  • Dr. Gregory Weiher, Chair, University of Houston Political Science Department

Award Ceremonry Co-Chairs

  • U.S. Congressman Hon. Ted Poe, 2nd District of Texas
  • U.S. Congressman Hon. Gene Green, 29th District of Texas

About the Gulen Institute

The Gulen Institute, established in October 2007, is an independent, non-profit organization and a joint initiative of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the Institute of Interfaith Dialog.

The main goal of the Institute is to promote academic research as well as grass roots activity towards bringing about positive social change, namely the establishment of stable peace, social justice, and social harmony by focusing on the themes of education, volunteerism and civic initiatives.

The Institute organizes academic and public events, such as conferences and luncheon forums, publishes scientific and popular works, provides student scholarships and faculty research grants, and organizes cultural exchange trips.

The perspectives of the Institute are inspired by the life and works of Fethullah Gülen.

Apply on their site
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