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High School Essay Contest

2024 Essay Contest details now posted! See the question below on "Reimagining Education and Policy for the 21st Century."

The School of Public Policy & Administration at York University and its undergraduate student association, the PPASA, invite high school students to submit essays for its 2024 competition. See the Essay Question below. Don't forget to follow us on X and LinkedIn!

To learn more about past year's celebrations, please visit our Student, Alumni and Community Recognition Awards Dinner archive. Please help circulate this contest widely to high school students and teachers.

Essay Question

Reimagining Education and Policy for the 21st Century

Multiple school boards have filed a lawsuit against social media platforms including Meta Platforms Inc., alleging that these companies have designed and marketed addictive products that negatively impact education. The boards claim social media causes widespread issues such as social withdrawal, distraction, cyberbullying, increased aggression, and mental health challenges among students.

In light of the lawsuit filed, discuss the impact of social media on student education and well-being. Propose your own solutions or strategies that schools and policymakers could adopt to address the issues caused by compulsive social media use among students.

Eligibility Criteria

High school students in grades 10-12 are invited to participate. Individual submissions or co-authored essays by up to 3 authors will be considered.

The essays should be 500-1000 words (1-2 pages) in length.


A group of faculty, current students and alumni from the School of Public Policy & Administration will review the essays and nominate 3 winners. Essays can be submitted online no later than Monday October 14, 2024.


The authors of the three highest ranked essays, along with their parent(s) or other designated guest(s), will be invited to the School’s annual Student, Alumni, and Community Recognition Awards Dinner at York University. The essay winners will also receive a monetary award: $200 for the 1st place, $150 for the 2nd place and $100 for the 3rd place.

High School Essay Contest Winners


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