About Us

Global Harmony Through Personal Excellence, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Its mission is to support the expression and humanity of children. Read more.

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Essay Contest

Global Harmony Through Personal Excellence, Inc. sponsors the Celebration of Youth essay contest, which is open to all 4th through 9th grade DC public school students.

The essay themes encourage students to examine their thoughts and feelings around their personal experiences. Students are asked to write about their lives in their own voices. Prominent media figures and authors are the judges, and people across the city gather to hear the finalists read their prize-winning essays.

We are proud that over the years a majority of the eligible schools have participated and that students from all sections of the city have won. While good writing skills help significantly, many criteria are taken into consideration.

Students who never thought they could write, much less win a contest, have won. The winners might have shown more depth, self reflection, compelling emotion, thoughtfulness, authenticity, or greater humor than the majority of entries.

This is an essay contest that need not be restricted to English classes. Many teachers, including those of art, science, music, and math, have encouraged students to enter. Students can also enter independently. Each year, a few students discover the contest and enter on their own.

Over the years, many notable public figures have congratulated the winners of our essay contest.

  • Some winning essays over the years can be found here.
  • View past years’ winners and honorable mentions.
  • Click here to see the congratulatory letters.
  • Read a testimonial from a former winner.
  • Read a testimonial from a teacher.