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 The 2018 Public Service Recognition Week Essay Contest is now closed. Winners have been notified. The website will be updated the week of April 16 with the winning essays.  

The City of Houston invites Houston area high school seniors at both public and private schools to participate in the Public Service Recognition Week Essay Contest.

Seniors can earn up to $2,000 for college, gain a deeper understanding about local government and learn about the broad range of career options serving the residents of Houston.

Hurricane Harvey revealed the strength, character and resiliency of Houstonians. Together, we proved that we are #HoustonStrong. Thousands of City of Houston employees continue to work behind the scenes to help Houstonians recover and mitigate the effects of future storms.

Essay contest participants are asked to choose a city career and write 500 words about how they would strengthen the city if they were a city employee. Essays do not need to specifically address storm recovery. We welcome essays that explore all city careers and what employees can do to make #HoustonStrong. Contestants must write about a specific city career. 

Mayor Sylvester Turner or City Council members will recognize the winners during a ceremony in early May. At that time, the following scholarships (sponsored by Cigna) will also be awarded:

First prize: $2,000
Second prize: $1,200
Third prize: $800
Honorable Mention: $500
Honorable Mention: $500

Read the winning 2017 essays

For more information, please contact Elise Marrion at 832-393-6132 or

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 21:47
Contact the Essay Coordinator

If you have questions or comments please contact the
PSRW Coordinator for further details.

Submit your essay

We are accepting submissions at this time.
Submissions due March 19, 2018.