Got Questions?

If you have a question that are not answered below, just send an email to Susan Kerin at

About the Challenges

Can I submit more than one video or essay?

Yes, you can submit up to 4 videos and 2 essays. However, you will only receive a maximum of one prize.

I don’t really know much about the topics?

That’s okay. We have provided a few resources in the links so that you can become more familiar with the topic. You don’t have to be an expert. You are educating an audience that may not have heard about the issue before.

Can I choose a different topic?

No, we want the presentations to be about these topics.

Can I look at other resources about the topics?

Yes, if you like.

Can my video or essay be in Spanish or another language.

That is a great idea. However, we can only accommodate English for this Challenge. We might consider other options in the future.

Tell me more about the Prizes.

You can only win a maximum of one prize. There will be a grand prize winner who gets $500. This might be on any topic.  For each ndividual topic, there will be one person who will get $100 and a runner up who will get $50.                            

So who is eligible for the $500 prize.

Every entry is. It is the ultimate prize and could be a video or an essay. The other prizes are specific to the various categories.

How will we get the money?

It will be a VISA card for the award amount.

What will you do with the videos and presentations?

We would like to host them on the website. For the grand prize and $100 winners, we will post a link on our social media pages.

About Me

Do I have to live in Montgomery County?

No, but you do need to live in Maryland.

Can a team rather than one person enter the contest?

Yes, but only one person will get the VISA card. You will have to decide among yourself how to divide the prize.

What if I’m under 14 or over 23 years of age.

Sorry, these Challenges are only for this age group.

Do I have to provide a social security number to get the prize?


About The Video Requirements

What type of format can I use for the video?

It is your choice. It can be animated, people talking, or vimeo. You just need to give us a link (e.g., Youtube) so that we can watch it.

I’m not a professional filmmaker. Will the quality of the video matter?

We aren’t expecting a “professional” video and the quality will not be a main judging criteria. However, if there is very poor sound or pictures it may mean it is less clear and appealing.  Simply put, it doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy, just good enough to not distract from the message.

I don’t have any video equipment.

It would be okay to use your phone to capture video.

What if my video is under 3 minutes or over 5 minutes?

We will still consider it.  But realize that it is too long, your audience may not want to watch it. If it is too short, you may not be able to explain the issue clearly.

Can I post the video on my social media page?

Your video belongs to you, so you can post it as much as you like. We would just like permission to post on our website.

About the Essay Requirements

Why are the essay topics different from the video?

We just chose to do that. The videos are focused on issues while the essays are focused on tactics and techniques for doing advocacy.

Will you judge on spelling and grammar?

It won’t be our main focus, but you should try to do your best on this (maybe have someone read it).

Do I need footnotes?

This isn’t a report or academic paper. We want to know your opinions and insight about the topic and the related questions.

What format do you want the document to be in.

Word is the easiest and most accessible for the judges. If you are using something different, you might want to check with us first to be sure we can access it. Maybe send us a sample file to see if we can open it.

Should it be single or double spaced? What font should we use?

You can make that choice. The word count should be between 800-1200 words.

How do we submit the essay?

You should fill out the application form and then email the completed form and essay to Susan Kerin at by the deadline.

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