Each May, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the International Bipolar Foundation hosts a high school essay contest. The topic: Bipolar Disorder: Stigma in 2020. This year submissions were received from around the world, including India, Nigeria, Ghana, and Canada, as well as those locally from The Preuss School UCSD, San Dieguito Academy, and others.
The team of judges scored the essays based on content, writing style, and organization. The essays ranged from personal accounts of having bipolar disorder to well-researched papers on mental illness and stigma.
The essays were so well written and impactful that the judges chose two first and second place winners, each of whom received cash prizes. One of the judges was so moved that he independently sent every contestant a $50 check along with an Honorable Mention.
The essay winners were announced during a special Public Forum with The Honorable Patrick Kennedy. Genevieve Green read her winning essay from the stage while Elga Theresia read hers to the crowd of over 300 via Skype.
This year’s winners include:
Genevieve Green– Carlsbad High School, Calif.
Elga Theresia - West Java, Indonesia
Muslim Hasan – St. Mary’s Academy, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Kristen Shim – Canyon Crest Academy
You can read all the essays at www.InternationalBipolarFoundation.org.