Essay Contest for Wisconsin High School Students


All Wisconsin high school students (grades 9-12) are eligible to participate in a High School Essay Contest conducted annually by the Wisconsin Labor History Society. The high school students are asked to write an essay of approximately 750 words on the following theme: “Unions have been important to my family and my community because …” and up to eight cash prizes are awarded for the best. The prizes will include one $500 first-place prize, one $300 second-place prize, one $200 third-place prize, and up to five $100 prizes for honorable mention. (Information about the 2014-15 School Year Contest, rules and deadlines can be found by clicking here.)


Four students win 2013-2014 Essay Contest

Thanks to the support of our members, local labor unions and councils throughout the state, more and more Wisconsin students are gaining interest in labor unions and their history.

Four WIsconsin high school students won cash prizes in the WLHS Annual Labor History Essay contest for 2013-14. Cash prizes ranging from $100 to $500 are provided each year for the best essays by Wisconsin high school students covering labor history.

Winners were:

Sophie Hilker, 10th grade at LaCrosse Logan HS, 1st, $500.

DeLou G. Wilson, 12th grade at Madison LaFollette HS, 2nd, $300.

Benjamin J. Zacher, 11th grade at Sun Prairie HS, 3rd (tie), $200.

Nathan Paul Cho, 12th grade at Neenah HS, 3rd (tie), $200.

Funds to provide for the cash prizes in the National History Day competitions and in the essay contest are provided by contributions to a designated “Labor History in the Schools Fund” by many local unions and labor councils, as well as individuals.

The Society’s special Legacy Fund also provides annual Frank P. Zeidler Academic Awards of $500 and $1,000 for research papers, respectively, by undergraduate and graduate students. This year’s winner in the undergraduate level was Timothy A. Melgard for his paper: “Theodore Rudzinski and the People’s Party: Defying Governor Rusk and Establishing Milwaukee’s Labor-Based Political Tradition following the Bay View Massacre.” There was no graduate winner this year.

(Read the four winning essays from 2013-14)


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