APA invited high school students to write about the critical planning issues facing their communities.

High School Essay Contest on Hiatus

The High School Essay Contest will not be held this year

See below for information about past contests.


Past Contests

Read winning essays from past contests and learn about the essays. Teachers, use these essay assignments for classroom projects.

Previous winners

Planning Career Information

Learn about the field of planning and the work of planners.

What Is Planning?

National Community Planning Month

The High School Essay Contest is one of the programs of APA's National Community Planning Month.

Find out how communities across celebrate

2008-2009 Winning Essay

Jason RoodJason Rood of Seattle, Washington, received a $5,000 scholarship to the college of his choice and complimentary attendance at one American Planning Association National Planning Conference over the next four years. This year's winner was selected from more than 100 submissions.

Jason, a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, argues in his essay that the link between the Green movement and Native American historic preservation is not being properly exploited. He writes that American Indians who lived in the Seattle region lived in harmony with the land, and their values and ways can be put to good use by the various green initiatives working to encourage sustainability in the area. By combining historic values and ideas with the technology of the future we can honor Native Americans by healing and sustaining the land they held sacred.

Read Jason Rood's winning essay (pdf)

Honorable Mention
Adam Scottaline Newnan, Georgia
Anthony Meals Clay Center, Kansas
Deidre Mitchell North Haven, Connecticut
Hannah Couch Statesboro, Georgia
James Fernando Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Jennifer Kempinski Melbourne, Florida
Jeffery Domozick Roswell, Georgia
Michael Ryan Evans, Georgia
Rena Wang Santa Rosa, California
Talia Chorover  Tucson, Arizona