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 2016-17 School Year Contest, rules and deadlines can be found here.)

Four students win 2014-2015 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 2014-15. 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:

ALYSSA NIEBUHR, 12th grade at DeForest HS, 1st, $500.

BETHANY ZIELINSKI, 12th grade at Cudahy HS, 2nd, $300.

CASIE McCALLISTER, 9th grade at Merrill HS, 3rd (tie), $200.

NATALIE BURGESS, 12th grade at Holmen 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 graduate level was John Ertl of Park Falls, who is currently a student at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

(Read the four winning essays from 2014-2015)