ACA Awards Banner

Future School Counselors Essay Competition

2021 Future School Counselors Essay Competition Awardees

Grand Prize Winner

Margaret Latta-Milord

First Prize Winner (TIE)

Austin Laws
Verna Estoque

Honorable Mention

James Harris
Kellie Lewis
Cha-Lisa Johnson


Background and Purpose

The American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition recognizes graduate counseling students with exceptional insight and understanding about the school counseling profession and the work of professional school counselors who interact with elementary, middle school or high school students.

JUDGES

Panel of ACA and ACAF Leaders

Prize

Grand Prize Award

  • $2,000 honorarium
  • Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience, and recognition during the virtual event. Winner will receive further information at the time of award notification.
  • Essay published on CT Online.

First Prize Award

  •  $750 honorarium
  • Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience, and recognition during the virtual event. Winner will receive further information at the time of award notification.

Second Prize Award

  • $500 honorarium
  • Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience, and recognition during the virtual event. Winner will receive further information at the time of award notification.

Honorable Mention Awards (2 awards): Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience.

Sponsor: The Roland and Dorothy Ross Trust and The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

The American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition is open to counseling graduate students in master’s degree and doctoral degree programs working toward a career in school counseling at the elementary, middle school or high school level.

  • Essayists must be enrolled in counseling-related graduate studies in the fall of 2020.
  • Essayists must be American Counseling Association student members. Join or renew your membership.
  • Essayists may enter only one of the following two awards tracks: the 2021 American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition or the 2021 American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition.
  • Previous American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition Grand Prize awardees are not eligible to submit an essay. Previous winners of ACA Future School Counselors essay competitions in other categories (First Place through Honorable Mention) may submit for the 2021 Future School Counselors essay competition.
  • Essayists submitting to the American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition must certify that they are working toward a career as a professional school counselor at the elementary, middle school or high school level.
  • Only one essay can be submitted by each American Counseling Association student member.

All entries will be read by a team of experienced professional counselors and evaluated in terms of how effectively each essay addresses the subject and offers provocative insights into the profession of counseling and its future.

Judges will want to see ideas well explained and supported. They will be evaluating how effectively the essayist presents his/her view and how interesting that position will be to the counseling community at large.

The decisions of the judges are final. There can be no substitution of prizes.

How to Apply

  • Submit an essay of 500 words or less, addressing the theme:

2020 has been a year of unprecedented societal upheaval, ranging from the fears stirred by the coronavirus pandemic to the public outcry against racial injustice and in support of diversity, inclusion, and multicultural harmony. What lessons have you taken from these world and national events and how will you apply them in your future service to students. 

  • It is recommended that awards program entrants write their essay in a software program of their choice, save it and then copy and paste the essay into the online submission form. Keep a copy of the essay in case there is a problem in the electronic transmission of the awards entry.
  • Neither the American Counseling Association nor the American Counseling Association Foundation is responsible if an entry does not reach the Awards program submission queue.
  • All entrants, by the act of entering, grant the American Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association Foundation the right to publish their name and their essay as part of the post-competition publicity on CT Online.
  •  Check ACA membership status.
  • Submit an essay meeting all award requirements.