President Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge

Each year the theme for the President Gerald R. Ford Scholarship Essay Challenge reflects on an important part of Gerald R. Ford’s character. High school students from public, private, city, suburban, rural and home schools participate in the contest. Finalists are chosen and recognized at a special awards program at the Museum.


2019 President Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge Rules and Guidelines (click here)

The President Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge is open to all 9th through 12th grade students. Review the rules and guidelines for the 500-750 word essay on the 2019 theme: civility.

“I have always believed that most people are mostly good, most of the time.  I have never mistaken moderation for weakness, nor civility for surrender.  As far as I’m concerned, there are no enemies in politics–just temporary opponents who might vote with you on the next Roll Call.”
~ President Gerald R. Ford

We invite you to write a 500-750 word essay sharing your ideas about civility. Some ideas include: What does civility mean to you? How might we create a sense of civility in both our social circles and our government? Have you had an experience where civility won and progress was made? Is there someone you admire for their sense of civility?


Submit your 2019 Essay by March 11, 2019

Students are invited to submit entries online. To enter online, please click link for online submission below. If mailing your essay, please submit to address provided below.

  • Easily submit your Essay today by uploading a PDF via our online submission
  • Or, submit your Essay by Mail to the following address by March 11, 2019:
    Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
    c/o Clare Shubert
    303 Pearl Street, NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Tips for a Successful Essay

Follow this link to find some helpful resources and suggestions for the pre-writing, writing, and revision process of your scholarship essay.


Contacts

Utilize the following contacts for questions on the Essay Contest and submissions.

  • President Gerald R. Ford Scholarship Essay Contest Contacts
    Clare Shubert: cshubert@38foundation.org / 616-254-0409

President Gerald R. Ford Essay Challenge previous year and past winners

2018 Winners (View photos from the 2018 awards program)

First Place: Aneeqa Hasan, Forest Hills Central High School
Second Place: Melanie Roelofs, Plymouth Christian High School
Third Place: Aunner Calderon, Union High School

First Place: Aneeqa Hasan, Forest Hills Central High School
Second Place: Melanie Roelofs, Plymouth Christian High School
Third Place: Aunner Calderon, Union High School

Honorable Mentions:
Megan Grant, Newaygo Public High School
Emily LaRue, Grand Rapids Christian High School
Tina Nguyen, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Ryann Reese, Ferndale High School

Top Finalist Awards:
Suki Rajan, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Landyn Teachout, Grandville High School
Reian Zhang, City High Middle School

Out-of-State Award Winner:
Carrie Hathaway, Geneseo Middle/High School

 

2018 President Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge Finalists and Winners

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