USAID YouthLead #Reaching16 Essay Contest 2021 for Young Changemakers

USAID YouthLead #Reaching16 Essay Contest 2021 for Young Changemakers

Deadline: January 15, 2021

Calling all young changemakers! Participate in the USAID YouthLead #Reaching16 Essay Contest 2021 and join in advocating for peace, justice, and strong institutions!

“Reaching 16” refers to Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aims to promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies. It also serves as a reference and commitment to ensuring youth reach the age of 16 and beyond by stabilizing communities. As a young changemaker, the #Reaching16 Essay Contest provides you with a unique platform to share your personal experience and creative voice with the world!

They invite written submissions, in the form of a personal essay, that tell them about the important work you or someone you know is doing to ensure your community is #Reaching16. (Community can be defined as a group of people you share common attitudes, interests, and goals with at the local, district, national, or global level, or in another way that makes sense to each author.)


  • They will select 16 winning essays from the submissions. With permission of the author, the winning essays will be published on and promoted via their YouthLead social media channels and newsletter. If published, they will use only the author’s first name or a pseudonym.


Open to all members of the public who are:

  • Citizens of low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) as listed here;
  • Aged 18-35 and;
  • Members of YouthLead with a member profile that is at least 80 percent complete. Becoming a member of YouthLead is easy and free.

Judging Criteria

The Selection Committee will evaluate the personal essays based on the following criteria:

  • Voice and Power
  • Experience and Engagement
  • Inspiration
  • Impact


All Entrants must be successfully registered on YouthLead. As registration may take several days to process, all registration requests must be submitted at least four business days prior to the end of the Entry Period to ensure timely approval for entering the contest.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit USAID.