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Ten thousand dollars will be split between three student essayists this spring for the Stim Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship,

sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

Essay submissions are now being accepted for the contest until March 15. The scholarship is hosted by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and funded by the family of the late Stimson Bullitt, a Seattle attorney, civil rights activist, and environmentalist.

The contest challenges college-bound high school students and current college students to write about a Washington state figure or group of people who effected change in their communities by demonstrating civic courage. The winner earns $5,000 for college tuition aid, while two runners-up win $2,500.

The top three essayists will also have their submissions cataloged in The Seattle Public Library’s Special Collections. Library patrons can read all the available essays by visiting the Seattle Room at the Central Library.

“We are in a critical period in our nation’s history where it is important to explore and understand what civic courage means,” says Jonna Ward, CEO of The Seattle Public Library Foundation. “We challenge students to develop their writing and research skills while learning about local heroes. And of course, participants can tap local librarians and library resources to help them complete their work!”

A panel of distinguished local authors pick the winners. Past winning essays covered Deborah “Tsi-Cy-Altsa” Parker, Former Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, and the Gang of Four.

More details, including the rules and eligibility requirements and resources for research, are available at the Foundation’s Stim Bullitt scholarship page or


The Seattle Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit partner of The Seattle Public Library, providing a way for people who value libraries to contribute financial support and advocate for The Seattle Public Library, enhancing its benefit to our community and ensuring its long-term vitality.

The Foundation has raised more than $228 million since 1980 to expand the Library’s collections, build new and revitalized libraries, support free educational and cultural programs for all audiences, and update the Library’s technology resources.



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