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, 2023.

Submit your essay through this online form.


NEW! Contest Flyer
The entry deadline is February 28, 2023.


1st Place: Mya Reed, Clifford Pierce Middle School, Merrillville
2nd Place: Barrie Terman, Clay Middle School, Carmel
3rd Place: Aparna Prasad, Creekside Middle School, Carmel


1st Place: Kylee Nichols, Carmel High School
2nd Place: Anderson Robb, Benton Central Jr/Sr High School, Oxford
3rd Place: Victor Cuevas, Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Join DSP

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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