The international

Essay Contest

The Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest was launched to empower students to critically think about the issues that matter to them. By providing a platform for students to express their ideas and opinions, we aim to spotlight valuable insights and ideas from young people around the world.Ultimately, the Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest may be seen as an opportunity for the Institute to invest in the future by supporting and uplifting the voices of young people, and by fostering a sense of civic engagement and social responsibility in the next generation.

At the moment, the International Essay Contest is inactive due to structural changes. Please stay tuned for more information on the next cycle.

Fall 2023 Winners

You've been elected leader of your country. What would you say during your inaugural address to inspire the citizens of your country, including those of every race, religion, political party, and creed?


Salma Amanda Latifa, Indonesia

Indonesia: Diversity, Natural Wealth, and a Leader’s Commitment to an Inclusive Future

This essay shined in particular because of its excellent integration of academic research, personal voice, and policy-oriented focus. Furthermore, as an organization that greatly values youth civic participation, the essay’s focus on the importance of youth in the modern world deeply resonated with our team. Fantastic work

Read the essay here.


Sophia Rosin, United States

What are the greatest attributes of our Democracy?

This essay highlights that the backbone of Democracy, specifically in the United States, is its ability to encourage deliberation and tolerance. We as a nonpartisan organization that encourages depolarization find the importance in shedding light on this particular subject in the increasingly divided global political climate.  This succinct and engaging description of democracy captured our attention.

Read the essay here.


Clarence Tay Han Yang, Singapore

Looking Forward

This speech excelled in its powerful word choice and ability to efficiently incorporate and explain numerous challenging topics. Its smooth progression from the past to the present and future provided a well-researched image of Singapore that garnered our applause.

Read the essay here.

Prompt: Spring 2023

Countless countries around the world suffer from a plethora of issues – economic hardship, social turmoil, political polarization, pandemic recovery, unreliable leadership, corrupt governance, warfare and conflict, the list goes on. If you were elected the leader of your country, what would you do to address the issues your country faces in order to build a more prosperous society?


Ethan Lee Yee Chien

"Singapore in the 21st Century: Addressing the Unique Challenges of my Homeland"

Read the essay here.


Ototleng Molelekedi
South Africa

"My South African Manifesto"

Read the essay here.


Saarah Hussain

"Beyond the Paradox of Plenty: Battling Bangladesh’s Burdens"

Read the essay here.


Insight: Does the essay provide unique or interesting insights, analysis or perspectives on its subject matter?
Is the significance or impact of the issue(s) being discussed, idea(s) being brought up, or point-of-views being communicated sufficiently captured in the essay?
Clarity and organization
: Is the essay easy to understand, with a clear and logical flow?
Is the essay engaging and well-written, with appropriate yet compelling tone, language and syntax for the subject matter?

Who can participate?

Any student, in any country, who is enrolled in an accredited high school or college/university at the time of submitting their essay is eligible to participate in the Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest and compete for the prizes.

Students taking academic gap years or semesters are also eligible.

No current employees of the Institute for Youth in Policy, however, will be permitted to enter the contest.

Submission Guidelines

Essays can take the form of anything from an analytical research paper to a personal narrative to allegorical fiction. This means essays can be written in any citation style or with no citations at all if it is not a research-heavy paper. Word Limit: 1250 words

All essays should be submitted as a .docx or a PDF document and should include your name as well as a title for your essay. Cover pages are acceptable but not necessary.

Essays should be written in an easily readable font size (11 or 12 pt.) with a professional font style (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.).  

A platform that honed my skills and perspectives.


Applications Closed Now

Applications for our second essay contest were due December 15, 2023.


Results generally get released within 45 days after the initial deadline.


The monetary ($250) and publication prizes will be sent via email to winners directly.