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LWV Deschutes County
PO Box 1783
Bend, Oregon 97709
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HomeY-Essay Student Contest
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Y-Essay Student Contest

Annual Student Essay Contest


The League of Women Voters of Deschutes County (LWVDC) believes students are the best advocates to increase the voting turnout in their age group. To encourage that advocacy, LWVDC sponsors an annual student essay contest: Y-Essay! The subject of the essay is “Why Vote?” (The ‘Y’ is for Yes, Youth, and Why?) The contest is open to high school seniors in Deschutes County. The winning essayists will each receive an award of $500. 


The purpose of this essay is to persuade others to exercise their right to vote by answering the question, WHY VOTE?
Two examples of ways students might approach their persuasive/inspiring 
essay are "Why you should vote" and "Why I will vote".

The contest is open to local Deschutes County high school seniors each year, soon after school starts. The winner(s) are announced before the end of the year.  Each winner receives a check for $500. With permission, a photo op is scheduled with the LWVDC President. The winning essay(s) are published along with the winner's photos on the League's website and in the local press.

Judging Process
panel of League of Women Voters and community members judge the essays. A minimum of three judges review each essay. If top-rated essays exceed the available number of awards, they are reviewed again and ranked to determine the winners.  (Each criterion is ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating.)

Judging criteria:
  • Persuasiveness/inspiration to the reader
  • Originality of thought and voice
  • Clarity, logic, and cohesiveness of ideas
  • Technical accuracy (spelling, grammar, citations if used, etc.)


The awards for the winning essay(s) come from the donation fund dedicated to the Y-Essay Contest. The number of winners depends not only on the judging criteria but also the amount of money in the donation fund. 

Donation funds are collected year-round for the annual Y-Essay contest.  Donate here:   Y-Essay Donation Fund
All donations to League of Women Voters Deschutes County, a 501(c) corporation, are fully tax deductible. We thank you for your contribution to defending democracy and for our local high school seniors.

LWVDC is proud to announce the three winners of our 2023-24 Y-Essay Contest.

Read more about these three remarkable local students.