Essay Contest

Michigan Charter Schools Essay Contest

“I will always be proud of having attended charter schools all my school life, because I know that attending them guarantees the best education possible for me, securing me a good and well-deserved future,” Abby Marshall, 2016 high school division winner.

“You asked all of us competing for this prize to tell you what our school means to us. I told you what has happened to me since that fateful day, when the green, gross, dusty carpet touched my small feet as I stared uncomprehendingly up at my mother. In case you didn’t the get the message, here’s what my school means to me… It means home,”
Audrey Broadwater, 2016 middle school division winner.

It’s that time of year, the time for the annual Michigan Charter Schools Essay Contest! Last year was a huge success, receiving hundreds of submissions from middle to high school charter students across the state. Our 2016 winners prove that charters are making a difference in helping students prepare for a bright future.

ALL STUDENTS HAVE BIG DREAMS. And it’s the work of great schools to make sure they’re prepared academically and with the strength of character to succeed in life. To celebrate National School Choice Week and how Michigan’s charter schools are getting kids ready for the future the National Charter Schools Institute and the Michigan Association of Public School Academies are proud to sponsor the 2017 Charter Schools Essay Contest.

The contest is open to students in middle school and high school. We invite each student to tell their story and how their charter school is preparing them to succeed in life. Be creative!

  • What courses are you taking to be ready to hit the ground running in college?
  • Are you learning the importance of leading a balanced, healthy lifestyle?
  • Are there special skills your school teaches you to be ready for the workforce?
  • What aspects of character are you learning to lead a well-lived life?

Whatever it is, we want to know so we can recognize and celebrate our great schools!  Entries are being accepted until April 1, 2017, and will be reviewed by a panel of qualied judges. Winners will be announced during National Charter Schools Week in May but notied prior.  For more information and contest rules, visit If you have any questions, you may also contact the institute at (989) 317-3510.

Prizes will be awarded for the rst, second, and third place winners in middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) divisions. First place winners of each division will receive a check for $500, a trophy, and be invited to Lansing for special recognition.

THE 2017 THEME: “Prepared to Succeed in Life.”


  • Grades 6-8: Between 250 and 400 words.
  • Grades 9-12: Between 450 and 550 words.

HOW TO ENTER: Essays can be submitted to the Institute either by email or mail:

  • Mailing Address: National Charter Schools Institute, 2017 Essay Contest, 711 W. Pickard St. Suite M, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
  • Email: