Oakseed Ministries International is proud to announce our 8th annual international essay contest for youth on the topic: Compassion and Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. Students are invited to explore the issues facing child and family poverty and to offer innovative ideas to help these children.
Submitted essays should not be a clinical assessment of child and family poverty, but a personal response to the crisis of destitute people. It is essential that your essay include elements that display your understanding of a Biblical view of life. The essay contest is part of a yearlong effort to raise awareness of the plight of poverty-stricken children around the world
Awards and Recognition
$500 will be awarded to the author of the best essay in each age cate-gory. Second place essays will receive a $250 award and Honorable mention will receive a $100 award. The winners will be notified in June 2013 and the winning essays posted on the Internet at http://essay.oakseed.org.

Age Categories

You must fall within the following age grades as at May 31, 2013

  1. 17 & Under- 5,000 characters or less (1,000 words in length)
  2. 18-22- 7,500 characters or less (1,500 words in length)


·         The Forms of “Governments” and Effects on Poverty

·         Micro-businesses and Their Effects on Poverty
·         Where Should the Focus of Poverty Be?
·         The Bible and Poverty
·         How Can Your Generation Change Poverty?
·         Poverty Over Generations
·         The Driving Factors of Poverty
Essay Format

  • The essay must be an original, unpublished work.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual perspective should be present within the essay.
  • Cite all sources used in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes. You do not need to provide a bibliography.
  • Essays should be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1? margins. On the lower right corner of your last page enter your word count. Your name must not appear on the essay pages, only on the cover sheet.
  • Entries that do not meet these submission guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Entries will not be returned. All entries must be post-marked no later than May 31, 2013.

Essay Evaluation Criteria
Each essay should:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding the cycle of poverty and its implications on society.
  • Show the author has personally wrestled with the nature and character of compassion.
  • Demonstrate the student’s own serious reflection on the current and future problems of the cycle of poverty.
  • Be focused and well-reasoned.
  • Use correct spelling and grammar.

All entries will be judged according to age category using the following criteria:

  • Awareness of the problem (1/3 total score): Demonstrate knowledge and depth of understanding about the issue from your research.
  • Quality of analysis (1/3 total score): Develop your own perspective on the issue. This perspective should be re-flected in your analysis of and your personal response to the issue.
  • Style and mechanics (1/3 total score): Use proper spelling and grammar. Your response to the topic should be clear and original. Essay reviewers from outside Oakseed Ministries will identify the essays that best meet the above criteria. The highest rated essays will go on to a second round of judging by a team of judges who will select the semi-finalists. The prize-winning essays will then be selected by the directors of Oakseed Ministries. All decisions are final.

Foreign Language Submissions
Essays may also be submitted in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Korean, Swahili, Japanese, and Chinese. See www.oakseed.org/essay for submission guidelines and information on other languages.
How to Submit Your Essay
When you are ready to submit your essay, you have two ways of doing so.

  • Submit your essay online. This is the easiest and most commonly used method of submitting your essay. Simply click on the menu tab that says “Submit Your Essay” and fill out the form with all of the required information
  • If you would like to submit your essay via regular mail, you can find instructions on the requirements by clicking on the same tab that says “Submit Your Essay.”

Deadline: All entries be submitted online or postmarked May 31, 2013
Click here for more information about the Oakseed essay contest
Click here for explanation of the sub-topics
Click here to submit your entry online