MLK Jr. Essay Contest

Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

Each year on the third Monday of January, we celebrate the life and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a time for our nation to remember the injustices that Dr. King fought. He fought for the freedom, dignity, and equality of all races and people.



Students in Middle School and High School are asked to write an essay based on a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Up to 5 essays may be submitted by a single school.

This contest is free for Department of Student Programs member schools.

Non-member schools will be charged $10 per essay that is submitted.


The entry deadline is February 28, 2021.

Submit your essay through this online form.


Contest Flyer
The entry deadline is February 28, 2021.


1st Place: Jaxon Barnett, Scottsburg MS
2nd Place: Bradley Dyer, Immanuel Lutheran School
3rd Place: Daniel Kent, Christ the King Catholic School


1st Place: Nevaeh Shouse, Terre Haute South Vigo HS
2nd Place: Jennifer Cahillane, Washington Township Mid/HS
3rd Place: Ava Nelson, Roncalli HS

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Have questions about our student programs and competitions? Check out our FAQ section for the most commonly asked questions.

Essay Contest News

Academic Coach
of the Year

Anyone who serves as an academic coach during the school year is eligible for this award, and can be nominated by their principal, another coach, coordinator or volunteer. One academic coach from each level of competition (elementary, middle/junior and senior) is recognized at our annual Academic Coaches Conference.

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In order to participate in Department of Student Programs (DSP) sponsored academic competitions, cheer competitions, Student Day at the Legislature, MLK Essay contest, and any other DSP programs, schools must maintain a current membership in DSP.

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