OCPA announces 2011 Citizenship Essay Contest

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 28-Dec-2010

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is again encouraging all Oklahoma high-school seniors to put their writing abilities to the test for the chance to win college scholarship prizes in the 2011 OCPA Citizenship Essay Contest.

For the past twelve years, OCPA’s essay contest has asked Oklahoma students to consider and write about how liberty and free-enterprise spurs economic development and prosperity. Nearly $100,000 in scholarship money has been awarded for students to attend participating Oklahoma colleges.

The question for students to address this year is, “How can limited government and free markets boost Oklahoma’s economy, both in urban and rural areas?”

“Capitalism is the vehicle for prosperity and freedom,” said KTOK radio host Reid Mullins, one of this year’s essay judges. “The founders of our nation understood that government interference in free markets limits freedom and inhibits economic growth. Whether you want to be a history teacher, an accountant, a counselor or a surgeon, you should have a basic understanding of the principles that have prospered our nation and created economic opportunity for more than 200 years.”

The essay contest is limited to seniors currently enrolled in an Oklahoma public, private or home school. Only one submission per student is allowed. OCPA will present the top five finalists with scholarship prizes at the 2011 Citizenship Award Dinner on March 30 in Oklahoma City

This year’s contest judges are Mullins; Janet Barresi, newly elected Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction; state Rep. Joe Dorman, a Rush Springs Democrat; Leslie Hiner, Vice President for the Foundation for Educational Choice; Cindy Hunter, Vice President for U.S. Fleet Tracking; and former state Sen. James Williamson.

Essays must contain 1,000 to 1,250 words and be typed and double spaced. All essays must be postmarked or emailed as a PDF to OCPA by February 14, 2011 and must include a completed essay contest entry form.

Scholarship awards, which will be submitted to the university or college of your choice, must be claimed during the 2011-2012 school year.

This year, eleven colleges and universities have agreed to match all or a portion of the OCPA scholarships. They include: Bacone College, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Rose State College, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Christian University, Southern Nazarene University, and University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

For additional information or to download the entry form, visit www.ocpathink.org and click on the “Events” tab at the top of the page.

Essays should be mailed to The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, 1401 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, 73104. Essays can be emailed to Chelsea@ocpathink.org.

About OCPA: The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that formulates public policy research and analysis consistent with the principles of free enterprise and limited government.