The 2012-2013 school year saw our inaugural essay contest, Making Democracy Work, in celebration of our 50th anniversary year. Our winners, Omar Qureshi and Vaishnavi Rao, won a cash prize for themselves and for their schools as well as a trip to Washington, DC to receive their awards.

The Hon. Richard Holwill of ??? presents Vaishnavi Rao with her award. (USCHS)

USCHS Trustee Hon. Richard Holwill (Amway) presents Vaishnavi Rao with her award. (USCHS)

In this school year, we challenge middle- and high-school students to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Students should consider the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and the corresponding duties that citizens owe to implement and protect those rights for themselves and for others. How do these rights and responsibilities affect you and your family? Why is it important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities?

Winners in both the junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12) receive a trip to Washington to accept their $1000 prize. Second place winners in each category receive $500, and third place winners receive $250. For all the details about entry, please visit our website.

USCHS Vice President presents Omar Qureshi with his award. (USCHS)

USCHS Vice President Don Kennon presents Omar Qureshi with his award. (USCHS)

“We are proud to offer talented students the opportunity to showcase their thoughtful perspectives about what it means to be an American citizen today,” said Ronald A. Sarasin, President of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. “We hope our contest will be a catalyst for an important national discussion about democracy, citizenship and our collective responsibilities as Americans.”

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is a congressionally chartered non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962. Its mission is to inform the public about the rich heritage of the Capitol and the Congress.