Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation – High School Essay Competition

Submission is now closed.

Thanks to everyone who submitted entries to our High School Essay Competition!

Amnesty International USA, with the generous support of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, invited high school student activists to examine the turmoil associated with the popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East by answering the following essay question:

What is the significance of the popular uprisings for the Middle East North Africa region and for the international human rights community? What is the role of young people and social media in mounting this challenge to so many established governments? And how should an organization like Amnesty International respond to this largely unforeseen development?

Download background information for the Middle East and North Africa.
Download flyer for the 2011 essay contest.

Two winners were selected and awarded cash prizes of $1,500 and a trip to Denver, CO to attend AIUSA's Annual General Meeting from March 30 – April 1, 2012. Additional awards include two second place awards of $500 and two third place awards of $250!

2012 Winners

1st place winners:
Tina Xu from Irvine, CA (download)
Jeanelle Wheeler from Auburn, MA (download)

Additional winners include:

Second Place (awarded $500):
Liam Wamba from Hastings on Hudson, NY
Danny Crowley from Menomonee Falls, WI

Third Place (awarded $250):
Emily Hays from Charlottesville, VA
Maia Nelles-Sager from Brooklyn, NY

Please contact Joshua Rubenstein, the Northeast Regional Director at [email protected] with any questions.


2011 Winners

Josh Rubenstein and Former Executive Director Larry Cox with our winners
Mahsa Taskindoust and Catherine Lovrien

"How Has the Promotion or Defense of Human Rights Changed Our World?"

Last fall we received dozens of wonderful entries from around the country. They expressed different perspectives, passions, and interests. They were judged according to originality, content, and style. We would like to thank all the contestants and encourage everyone to keep participating and join our global movement to change the world!

Here are our winners:

1st place winners (awarded $1,500 & a trip to the AIUSA Annual General Meeting in San Francisco):
Catherine Lovrien from Alexandria, Minnesota (download)
Mahsa Taskindoust from New City, New York (download)

Additional winners include:

Second Place (awarded $500):
Thendral Govindaraj, Georgia
Emma Zimmerman, Washington

Third Place (awarded $250):
Rachel Knapp, Montana
Samuel Rosenblum, New Jersey