Parish President Hotard 2023 Scholarship Essay Contest

Published on April 19, 2023

Office of Parish President Jaclyn Hotard
St. John the Baptist Parish


2023 Scholarship Essay Contest


Essay Topic:  If you wrote a letter to yourself to be opened in 20 years, what would it say?

Purpose: This essay contest gives graduating seniors an opportunity to develop and express their views. In addition to the opportunity for educational initiative and written expression, participants have the chance to win a financial award.

How to Enter/Submission Deadline: Students can submit essays on the assigned topic to the Parish President’s Office via email only no later than Monday, May 8, 2023 at 4:00 pm. Essays should be typed, saved in word format, and sent to

Eligibility Criteria: The contest is open to Class of 2023 graduating seniors. Contestants must reside in St. John the Baptist Parish and attend high school within the Parish at the time of entry. One winner will be selected from each high school.

Contestants must compose an original essay with no guidance from others. Webster’s Dictionary defines an essay as an analytic or interpretive literary composition.

Terms of Participation:

  1. Only one original submission allowed per contestant.
  2. Plagiarized essays will be rejected.
  3. The decision of the judges will be final and binding.
  4. Winning entries may be published.
  5. Individual students should be the only author of their essay. Co-authorship is not allowed.
  6. No hard copy submissions will be accepted.
  7. Email should include essay title, name of contestant, phone number, and school name.
  8. Winning entries will be announced during senior awards ceremony or graduation.

Scholarship Award Details: Each winner will receive a $400 scholarship award and will be recognized by Parish President Jaclyn Hotard. Scholarships will be payable directly to the student and will not be extended to any other named person.

Essay Guidelines:

  1. Participants must write on the official essay contest topic.
  2. Essays must be typed and double-spaced. (No handwritten essays will be accepted)
  3. Each entry must begin with a title page that includes essay topic, writer's name, address, phone number, school, and number of words.
  4. Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with “Page 1” (not the title page). The numbers must be centered at the bottom of each page.
  5. The official topic and the number of words should be at the top of Page 1.
  6. Essays must contain at least 700 words but should not exceed 1,000 words. Every word of the essay is counted not including the title page, essay title, bibliography, or footnotes. Hyphenated words are counted as one (1) word. (Words are to be counted manually.)
  7. Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
  8. No reference can be made in the essay that identifies the student or parents.
  9. The essay document should be saved using your own name in the following format prior to submission: 2023Essay_YourName (example: 2023Essay_JaneDoe)

Scoring: Participants may score a possible 100 total points.

  1. Material Organization (Logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic): 30 points
  2. Vocabulary and Style (Phrasing and continuity): 30 points
  3. Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling: 15 points
  4. Creativity: 15 points
  5. Neatness: 5 points
  6. Adherence to contest rules (prepared in the proper format): 5 points

Penalties/Eliminations will be made based upon:

  1. Failure to list official topic
  2. Failure to accurately identify total number of words
  3. Failure to type essay and double-space
  4. Failure to stay within the 700 – 1,000-word limit



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