USD Leadership School Announces Youth Essay Contest

The Character Development Center within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego has announced the 16th annual Character Matters Essay Contest.  Public, private, and charter school students grades 4-12 in San Diego and Imperial Counties are invited to submit their essays.

 The Character Matters Essay Contest provides a platform for insightful discussions and reflections on experiences that call for honesty, respect, responsibility, courage, self-discipline, and other virtues. All students have encountered experiences in their lives where their character has been tested, inspired, and strengthened. This essay contest provides students an opportunity for conscious reflection on these experiences.

Approximately 3,000 students participated in the contest last year, and the winners in each age category—elementary, middle, and high school—received a plaque and cash prize:  $125 for first place, $100 for second place, and $75 for third place.


The Character Development Center aims to serve educators and students in teacher education programs, K-12 teachers, administrators, counselors, parents and caregivers who desire to participate in the character development of children and youth, and to promote among the young development of life skills necessary for a productive personal and social life.

Interested students must submit their essays by December 9, 2011.


To learn about essay topics, rules and how to submit an essay, please visit us at

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The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.