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HGP’s Annual Scholarship Contest

Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP) is pleased to sponsor an annual essay contest to encourage Portland area college-bound high school seniors in their education and in learning more about Humanism. Thanks to the foresight and planning of Del Allen, a long-time HGP member, a scholarship fund was begun in 2011, and awards have been given out annually since 2012. HGP members continue to make donations to support this important community outreach.

The essay contest promotes the logical thinking and communication skills valued by humanists. We're heartened to see the number of applicants increase over the years. We believe this demonstrates that more young people all the time are accepting Humanism as their worldview.

A committee of HGP volunteers administers the scholarship contest. New topics are announced each year for an essay of 750-1,000 words on one topic chosen out of three. For 2023, they could write about: ways to decrease our country's polarization; taking action about key issues; or what evidence they are seeing that the United States is becoming less religious.

Every January, the committee sends application forms and information to Portland Metropolitan Area public schools. Interested students can pick up these materials from their counselors or download them from HGP’s website.

Each year's submission deadline falls in mid-April. In addition to the essay, students must provide parental permission and school transcripts showing a GPA of at least 3.0. Winners need to submit proof of college enrollment prior to receiving their scholarship funds. They read their essays aloud at our Sunday morning meetings, and videos of these readings are available through this website.

The number of winners and award amounts vary from year to year. This year, Cooper Long (Franklin High School) won first place and was awarded $2,000.  Four students tied for second and were awarded $1,000 each: Cole Delaney, Kai Kubo and Damaris Cowles (all Cleveland High School); and Camille Munoz (Roosevelt High School). 

Congratulations to all of these fine students and all the best to them in their future endeavors.

Check here in January for 2024 scholarship information.

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