AACS Essay Competition Due Date: April 1st, 2019


The 2019 AACS Essay Competition submission deadline has passed. Essay submissions are now under review. Please check back for updates; award recipients will be notified by email.

The Asian American Civic Scholars (AACS) group of St. Louis invites submissions from Asian American students (grades 7-12) for its inaugural Asian American Civic Engagement Essay Competition. Students should illustrate their perspectives on civic engagement in relation to the St. Louis Asian community. A panel of members from the St. Louis community will judge the essays and the top three submissions will receive a cash prize of $50, $150, and $300 respectively. The essays will also be published in local Chinese newspapers. The essays should respond to any one of the following questions:

  1. Asian American communities throughout the U.S. have often shown lower levels of civic engagement than other immigrant communities, including lower-than-average voter turnout. How does your Asian American identity inform the way you engage with your community? What do you think our community should do in order to further Asian Americans’ civic engagement?
  2. One issue of significance for the Asian American community is Affirmative Action which has captured public attention due to the Harvard discrimination lawsuit. Consider this and any other issue affecting Asian American communities in the U.S. What issue do you think is the most important for our community? How should we respond to this issue?  You may discuss appropriate responses at a(n) individual, community, organizational, or national level.
  3. Discuss the common stereotypes that affect Asian Americans, including ones that lean more positively (“Asians are good at math”) and ones that lean more negatively (“Asian are all introverts”). In what ways do they affect you personally? How do these stereotypes affect how society views the Asian-American community as a whole?  


  • The essay should be submitted in a Word or PDF document email attachment (double-spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman Font).
  • Though submissions of all lengths will be considered, the recommended length is 600-800 words.
  • Submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2019, at aacsstl@gmail.com.
  • In your email message, please include your name, school, age, ethnicity, grade level, prompt number, and phone number.

Grading Criteria:

  • Creativity and Uniqueness
  • Grammar and Flow
  • Development of Theme
  • Appealability to All People

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