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Legacy Of Life Essay Contest Scholarship

Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) is proud to announce the 2018 Leslie Ebert Legacy of Life Scholarship Program is now open and accepting submissions in both the Video and Essay categories. Eligible high school seniors can submit up to one essay and/or one video for consideration through March 31, 2018, and have a chance at the top award - $5,000 in each category!


The Leslie Ebert Memorial Fund will award one $5,000 first place, one $3,000 second place, and three $1,000 honorable mentions in both categories. Scholarships will be awarded to selected students who submit a persuasive essay and/or video that motivates individuals to register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Please refer to the attached information for instructions and rules regarding submissions.


WRTC is a non-profit, organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of donated organs, eyes and tissues in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. These scholarships were established to honor those who have given the gift of life, and to spread public awareness about the impact organ, eye and tissue donation has on our community and across the nation.



11:59 PM on Saturday, March 31, 2018


Official rules can be found at 2018 Scholarship Rules.

Entry Forms:

2018 Essay Scholarship Entry Form

2018 Video Scholarship Entry Form


Winners ONLY will be notified directly and officially announced to the public on BeADonor.org by May 15, 2018. 



$5,000 Winner - Julia Marie Stewart of Purcellville, VA (Woodgrove High School)

$3,000 Winner - Elizabeth Andres of Alexandria, VA (Hayfield Secondary)

$1,000 Winner - Alanna N. Brown of Burke, VA (Braddock Secondary School)

$1,000 Winner - Jolie M. Miller of Bethesda, MD (Walter Johnson High School)

$1,000 Winner - Brianna Mastrolembo of Sterling, VA (Dominion High School) 


To enter the Listen to a Life Contest, a young person 8-18 years old interviews an older person over 50 years (cannot be a parent; may be a grandparent, older friend, mentor, neighbor, assisted living or long-term care resident, etc.) The young person then writes a 300-word essay (maximum) based on the interview.

Get ready by doing a little reading…

Check the contest rules. You can also read Why Enter?

Read past winning stories to see how to craft an appropriate essay. The judging committee isn't looking for a laundry list of dates and life facts. Rather, they're looking for an evocative, creative story that captures the essence of a person's life, or a critical moment or experience.

Finally, young and old can read and discuss the award-winning book Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes, by Susan V. Bosak. A multilayered story told by a wise old star, it's about hopes and dreams across a lifetime, in the past and into the future. We even have intergenerational activities you can do. The book sets the stage for a great interview.

Do your interview by listening to a grandparent/grandfriend's life story. Learn about their hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved goals and overcame obstacles, or how dreams may have changed along the way. As you're listening, focus in on a significant life experience – it may be big or small, but it has to mean something to the person being interviewed. What life advice can the older person share? The judges are looking for an evocative, creative story that captures the essence of a person's life, or a critical moment or experience.


To help with your interview, we have Life Interview Tips and sample Life Interview Questions (you don't have to use the questions; they're designed to give you ideas and inspiration).

WARNING: Entries MUST be based on an actual interview the young person completes in person, over the phone, or via the Internet with a living older adult. An entry cannot be based on a story the young person has been told by another person or has overheard. It must also be a true, real-life story, not creative fiction. Failure to follow these rules will result in immediate disqualification. Please read all the contest rules.

Now you're ready to write your story – 300 words maximum. Remember, the judging committee isn't looking for the person's whole life story (which is impossible to do in 300 words), but an essay that captures a theme, moment, or experience that's important in the older person's life.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. One entry per team (i.e. young person and grandparent or grandfriend). Entries must be 300 words or less, be a true story about an older person's life, and will be judged by a committee based on the following criteria: 1/3 writing quality, including creative presentation; 1/3 content depth and evocativeness; 1/3 appropriateness to theme, particularly the ability to capture a timeless idea, insight, or theme (big or small) based on real-life experience.

You can submit your completed entry online or by mail/fax. Only receipt of online entries can be acknowledged. Contest closes March 23, 2018.

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