Each year, an essay contest is co-sponsored by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) on a topic related to Christopher Columbus, for high school students throughout the United States. The national winner receives a $1,200 prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington to read the essay at the Columbus Day event in Washington. The second place winner receives $500 and the third place winner receives $300.
Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Judging at the national level is supervised by the NIAF.
One winning essay from all those submitted is sent from the participating chapters for judging on the state level. The state will send one winning essay to be judged on the division level. The winning essay from each division is then judged on the national level and the winner is announced. Second- and third-place winning essays are selected on the national level.
Essays are to be typewritten and no more than 750 words long.
Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter. The national prize is awarded by the NIAF.
For additional contest information or guidelines, please contact your local DAR chapter.