Essay is Open to Students in Imperial, Orange & San Diego Counties

The San Diego Cesar E. Chavez Commemoration Committee in partnership with the University of California San Diego Early Academic Outreach Program have joined forces to sponsor the 12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez High School Essay Contest.  The essay contest, to honor the life and achievements of the late civil rights and labor leader, is opened to students in grades 9-12 in Imperial, Orange and San Diego counties.

Students of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to enter by composing their essays on the following theme: The Art of Inspiration in Serving Our Communities.

Essays must be submitted with an application and should be postmarked no later than Friday, March 12, 2010. Students interested in participating can obtain an application and contest guidelines by visiting or by contacting the UCSD Early Academic Outreach Program at (858) 534-4250.

All prizes will be awarded at the 12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Breakfast on Monday, March 29, 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center.  The grand prize winner will be invited to read his or her essay to a crowd of more than 1,000 guests.

The winners will also be recognized at community celebrations and at UCSD events honoring Cesar E. Chavez.  All submitted essays will become the property of the San Diego Cesar E. Chavez Commemoration Committee.  A panel of representatives from the Commemoration Committee and UCSD will review the essays and select the winners.

In the 1970’s, Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores Huerta helped organize a mass movement to gain support for farm workers who had previously been voiceless and unsupported.  His non-violent movement helped spark a legacy of activism and social awareness that continues to the present.