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Achievement Week Essay Contest

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International High School Essay Topic for 2023

"With Politics gaining the bulk of discussion, what can the younger generation do to ensure that elected leaders understand the impact of gaining their vote?



The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. offers an annual International High School Essay Contest and awards scholarship assistance in the form of monies awarded to eligible high school seniors who are selected during a competitive process at the chapter, district and international levels.  The Essay Content is presented as a mandated element of the annual International Achievement Week Observance that the Fraternity hosts to commemorate its member, Bro. Dr. Carter G. Woodson (OMEGA Chapter).   

In 1927, at the urging of Bro. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week an annual observance.  Today we recognize that week as Black History Month, which is observed annually in February.  Originally designed to promote the study of Negro life and history, the Fraternity’s Achievement Week observance occurs annually in November -- the month the Fraternity was founded -- and it is designed to seek out and give due recognition to individuals at the local, district, and international levels who have made noteworthy contributions toward improving the quality of life for Black Americans.

The 2023 observance period occurred November 13 through 19, 2023, which, as is customary spanned the Fraternity's Founders' Day which occurs annually on November 17.  The 2023 observance period has not been announced, but it will occur in November 2023 and is again expected to span November 17.


The Essay Contest is annually open to all college-bound, high school seniors who submit an essay application through a Chapter of the Fraternity.  Chapter scholarship award amounts vary by chapter, so contacts your local chapter directly. 


Chapter Essay Contest winners may compete for a Second District scholarship award, and the Second District Essay Contest winner (1st Scholarship) may compete for and receive an International scholarship award to be awarded in 2023 following proof of college enrollment.  The Fraternity's "Second District" is made up of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  The scholarship awards for the 2022 essay contest candidates were:

Second District Scholarship Awards

1st Scholarship | $1,000*

2nd Scholarship | $500

3rd Scholarship | $250

International Scholarship Awards**

1st Scholarship | $5,000

2nd Scholarship | $3,000

3rd Scholarship | $2,000

4th Scholarship | $1,000

*Winner may compete for the International Scholarship Award

**Must provide proof of college enrollment to receive scholarship award.


October 21, 2023 | Students' essay submissions are due to appropriate Chapter.

NOTE:  Eligible high school students' essays MUST be submitted to a local chapter in the students' respective community or area. (e.g., an Undergraduate chapter in their area, or a Graduate chapter in their city, county or similar).  See the Resources section below for additional guidance. Students should locate and contact the respective Chapter directly for additional details.

November 20, 2023 | Chapters' winning essay submissions are due to Achievement Week Committee.

Each Chapter may submit ONLY one (1) winning essay for consideration.  Decide any tie breakers at the Chapter level.

January 2024 | Select District winners of International High School Essay Contest and forward to International Achievement Week Committee.


The Achievement Week Committee will submit the District winner for consideration among all other  districts' submissions for International awards -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places.

NOTE:  The Second District's winner in 2021 also placed 1st at the International level in 2021. (see below)












For assistance locating an appropriate local chapter to submit an essay, reference the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. website at and select About and then Find A Chapter from the drop down.  For best use, enter your state where indicated and review all listed chapters to identify one or more whose contact address corresponds with either your home address or your high school's address, then contact the chapter directly for related information and guidance.

Click the PDF link provided below to access the Essay Contest application, eligibility rules, submission process, rating criteria and other information. 

Direct questions to the Achievement Week Committee Chairman via

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