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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 2022, they could write about: how the COVID epidemic caused them to revise college and career plans; how Humanists strike the balance between rights and responsibilities without formal scriptures; what three laws they'd like to see enacted.

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, Nina Takahashi from Southridge High won first place and was awarded $3,000.  Two students tied for second and were awarded $2,000 each: Neel Jain from Westview High and Viviana DePinto from Cleveland High.  And the judges awarded four third-place scholarships of $1,000 each: Juan David Alonso Garcia from Liberty High; Macy Deckert from Beaverton High; Abby Winkler from Grant High; and Kayla Wolf from Tualatin High.  Soon you will be able to click on their names to read their essays.

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


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