We at Mali Rising want to encourage young people in the United States to think critically yet compassionately about international development issues. The Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest is a forum for thoughtful high school thinkers to share their analysis on a different international development topic each year.
Essayists are encouraged to learn more about Mali, international development, and the connections between education and poverty. We've provided a few resources here to get essayists started.
- Watch this short video about what Mali Rising does and why we do it.
- You may want to sign up for our e-newsletter (see form below) or like us on Facebook for updates from Mali.
- Read our pages on Why Mali? and Why Middle School? for information on why Mali Rising focuses on the work we do.
- Check out our Student Spotlights for real-life stories of what education means to students in Mali.
- Learn more about Mali's people, economy, history, food, and more at Our Africa.
- Explore what the U.S. Agency for International Development has to say about education as a driver for development and poverty reduction.
- Really into numbers? Check out the Education Policy and Data Center's Mali page.
- Prefer big picture ideas to numbers? Consider this TED talk on the evolution of compassion or this TED talk on the power of education to change lives.
This contest asks students to build a creative, persuasive argument for engagement in a country like Mali -- far from students' homes and daily concerns. National winners of this essay contest receive cash awards and recognition.
- First place: Sarah Baum of Marlboro High School, Marlboro, NJ
- Second place: Raksha Narasimhan of Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA
- Third place: Tani Madichetti, William Mason High School, Mason, OH
We congratulate the top three winners and all our finalists for their wonderful work.
The 2018 contest theme and timeline will be announced in fall 2017. Sign up for our e-newsletter and/or like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about the new theme!
All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in U.S. public, private, and home schools within the United States are eligible. The essay must be 300-500 words. Additional rules apply -- see official 2017 rules.
- First place: $250 cash award and publication online
- Second place: $100 cash award and publication online
- Third place: $50 cash award and publication online
Essays may be submitted beginning January 1, 2017 via email only to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions was midnight on March 31, 2017.