Students, What is Your Dream for America?


Asheville, N.C., Feb. 3, 2020 – The YMCA of Western North Carolina and The Urban News are cosponsoring an essay contest during Black History Month to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to encourage study of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Using the theme “My Dream for America,” students in grades K-12 are asked to write about what Dr. King’s legacy means to them. Essays will be judged on creativity, clarity, content, coherence, and adherence to theme, and must be in the author’s own words.

Winners will receive a prize pack including a month of Y membership. The winning essays will be published on the YMCA website, posted at select YMCAs, and printed in a later edition of The Urban News.

Contest Rules:

  • One (1) author per essay; one (1) essay per student
  • Winners will be chosen from elementary, middle, and high school divisions
  • Maximum of 300 words (elementary), 500 words (middle), and 1,000 words (high)
  • All judging is final and the winners will be notified
  • All students must include permission statement signed by parent
  • Essays will be accepted from Feb. 1-29, 2020
  • Open to K-12 students

Entries can be submitted online at or by mail to Woodfin YMCA, c/o Ashley Tee, 40. North Merrimon Ave., Ste. 101, Asheville, NC, 28804.