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.

2017 – 2018 President Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge Rules and Guidelines
The President Gerald R. Ford Essay Challenge is open to all 9th through 12th grade students. Review the rules and guidelines for the 500-750 word essay on the 2018 theme: courage.

Submit your 2017 – 2018 Essay Online
NEW THIS YEAR! 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 via our online submission by uploading a PDF
  • Or, submit your Essay by Mail to the following address:
    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
    Kailie West: krw002@aquinas.edu
  • General Contact Info for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
    303 Pearl St., NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    (616) 254-0396
    ford@38foundation.org
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
    URL: https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov
    Museum: 303 Pearl Street NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504-5353
    Library: 1000 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109

President Gerald R. Ford Essay Challenge previous year and past winners
2016 Winners (photo from the 2016 awards program)
First Place: Madison Goen, 12th Grade, Kenowa Hills High School
Second Place: Benjamin Rozema, 11th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Third Place: Lois Biggs, 12th Grade, Forest Hills High School
Honorable Mention: Hannah Baird, 12 Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Honorable Mention: Sarah Baxter, 10th Grade, Catholic Central High School
Honorable Mention: Deena Hoffman, 11th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Elliott Hoogerland, 12th Grade, Forest Hills Eastern High School
Honorable Mention: Bethany Morse, 11th Grade, Calvin Christian High School
Honorable Mention: Emily VanderBerg, 12th Grade, Plymouth Christian High School

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