American Leadership Academy



Civility Essay Contest

Many have lamented the loss of civility and bipartisanship in political and public realms. Name-calling, attack ads, deliberate mistruths, and even overt violence towards members of the press and political opponents are now common features of public life.

The Honors College at Westminster—whose curriculum is designed around constructive conversation and collaborative learning—sponsors an annual essay contest for Utah high school students who want to engage in civil conversation about the crucial issues of our day, making arguments about hard topics in a reasonable, evidence-based fashion.


All current Utah high school students are eligible for the essay contest.


The contest will be judged by a bipartisan panel of prominent Utah Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.


Awards are underwritten through the generosity of WCF Insurance. Students DO NOT need to plan on attending Westminster College to receive awards.

    • $2,000 cash award for the best essay
    • $500 cash runner-up award

Enter the Contest

Essay Topic

In January 2021, Utah will have its first new governor in 12 years. If you were able to meet for an hour right before they started the job to discuss what you feel is the most important issue facing the state, what advice would you give the new governor and why? Write an essay (600 words or less) that addresses this question.

Essay Deadline

Essays are due Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at midnight. Only 1 submission per student allowed.