Senator Bernie Sanders’ annual State of the Union Essay Contest is designed to engage Vermont’s high school students on the major issues facing the country. Over the past ten years, more than 4,600 students throughout Vermont have written essays about critically important issues, including climate change, access to mental health care, criminal justice reform, and much, much more.

Each year, the President of the United States delivers a “State of the Union” speech to Congress, to report on the state of our country and outline priorities for the coming year.

Because Senator Sanders knows that real change and new ideas can come from everyone — not just those in power — and wants to encourage young people to become engaged in the political process, he invites Vermont high school students to write a 250-500 word essay focusing on what they believe is a major challenge facing our country, and how they would solve it.

A panel of teachers will judge the essays and select ten finalists. Senator Sanders will enter the essays of the finalists into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the U.S. Congress.

Senator Sanders’ 2021 State of the Union Essay Contest is closed.

The 2022 contest will open in Fall, 2021.

Read the 2021 finalists’ essays here.

For questions about the contest please call (800) 339-9834