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Contest Rules

What you are expected to do:

…a city job. The list of municipal jobs can be found at You can read a detailed job description if you click on the job code on the left column.

…Look online, read news articles, press releases, follow city social media to get ideas of current issues. In addition: We encourage students to interview one or more city employees working in the jobs they chose to write about.

…a 500-word essay about how you would strengthen the city if you were a city employee. Be sure to provide specific suggestions how you would improve or create city programs. 

Contestants must write about a specific city career.

Read more helpful suggestions and Essay Contest Do’s and Don’ts.

…essays online by midnight Monday, April 1, 2024. Complete the online entry form and attach your essay. 


Essays should be composed by a senior from a Houston-area high school (public or private). They should be organized in the following manner: Thesis statement, arguments and conclusion.

Essays must be:

  • 500 words or less
  • Typed
  • Double-spaced

Selection criteria
Winning essays will be selected on the basis of the following:

  • Organization and accurate presentation
  • Creativity
  • Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Demonstrate evidence of research. 

Awards Sponsored by Cigna

  • First Place: $2,000
  • Second Place: $1,200
  • Third Place: $800
  • (2) Honorable Mention: $500

Scholarships are sponsored by Cigna Health Insurance

Last modified on Thursday, 07 December 2023 12:28
Contact the Essay Coordinator

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

Submit your essay

Essay submissions are due March 4, 2022.