2015 Gulen Institute Youth Platform Essay Competition- $2,000 USD & A 3-Day Excursion to Washington DC

2015 Gulen Institute Youth Platform Essay Competition- $2,000 USD & A 3-Day Excursion to Washington DC

Deadline: December 15, 2014

The Annual Gulen Institute Youth Platform essay competition is now open for high school students(9th grade through 12th grade) all over the world. The contest challenges young minds to identify the obstacles to stable peace and social harmony and to offer possible solutions from their own cultural perspectives. The Youth Platform also offers a unique opportunity for cross-cultural understanding, as contest winners are invited to share their essays and engage in respectful dialogue with their peers from around the world.The theme for the 2015 platform is : “Are Citizens of the World Succeeding in Lessening Global Poverty?”

Contestants are encourage to address ONLY ONE  of the following questions in their essay

Discuss a novel innovative proposal to combat poverty. Elaborate how feasible is its implementation, how measurable its outcomes, and promise for replicability in any region.

2. Discuss some innovative practices that have been particularly effective in reducing or eliminating poverty in some regions. Do they show any promise as a model for implementation elsewhere? Are they promising on a global scale?

3. Some means to innovate projects for lessening poverty impinge upon cultural practices, rights of either men or women, and may be considered contrary to one’s dignity. Can these limitations be overlooked in the interests of the greater good? Why or why not?

4. Both governmental and private funding has resulted in lessening poverty. Select an example of either to discuss the better approach, keeping in mind accountability and adaptability to any global setting.

5. Consider an acknowledgedly successful innovation to lessen poverty in a particular region to explore to what extent it can be customized for another setting? For the entire international scene?

6. Identify an example of an effective innovation to decrease poverty that utilized social means within a culture, without intrusions from NGOs or the UN. Why or why isn’t this example promising for all regions?


  • 1st Place: 2, 000 USD + 3-day excursion
  • 2nd Place: 1,500 USD + 3-day excursion
  • 3rd Place: 1,000 USD +  3-day excursion
  • 4th -15th Place: 300 USD + 3-day excursion
  • 16TH-30th Place: 100 USD + 3-day excursion

Winning students’ airfare, accommodations, meals, and transportation will be sponsored

All winners will receive a Certificate of Award from the Gulen Institute at the University of Houston.

The awards for teachers include:

  • 1st Place: 600USD
  • 2nd Place: 500 USD
  • 3rd Place: 400 USD
  • 4th -15th Place: 200 USD

Essays must be

  • written in English; at least 1,500 words in length but no more than 2,000 (Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count)
  • include a bibliography; and must comply with standards regarding citations and bibliography.
  •  original, unpublished, and written entirely by student;
  • contain student’s original opinions and recommendations based on research;
  • typed, double-spaced with margins: left: 1.5″, right: 1″, top: 1″, bottom: 1″, page-numbered;

Please identify your first language, as papers are ranked in three categories.

For more information, visit Gulen Youth Platform