The David Shafer Essay Scholarship supports Georgia’s character development curriculum by encouraging students to research and critically think about important character traits shown by specific individuals in American history.

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-145), public schools are required to provide character development programming to all students with a focus on developing the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, respect for the creator, patience, creativity, sportsmanship loyalty, perseverance, and virtue.

Essay Question: In 800 words or fewer, please write an essay about a person in American History who exemplified one or more of these character traits.

Deadline: December 1, 2016

Who Qualifies: Any Georgia high school student in the 12th grade (or equivalent if student is enrolled in a non-traditional learning experience).

Scholarship Awards:

Writers of the top three essays will receive scholarships funded by the “David J. Shafer Fund” of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

  • First place: $1,500
  • Second place: $750
  • Third place: $250

All three recipients will be recognized by a Resolution of the State Senate.  They will be invited to the State Capitol during the 2017 Legislative Session to meet Senator Shafer and receive presentation copies of the Resolution.

Scholarship entries will be be evaluated based on the rubric here.

Contest Entry Form

Essay Contest

Submission form for essay contest