Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest

2019-20 Statewide Winners Announced

The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest today announced state winners for the 2019-2020 contest. Cindy Huynh, an 11th grader at Brookwood High School in Snellville, won the competition with her essay about standing up to bullies. Sha’niya Rogers, a 9th grader at Westover High School in Albany, won the George A. Stewart Jr. Character in Action award with her essay about working through homelessness to achieve in school and for her family. Each of these outstanding student writers will receive a $1000 prize.

Savannah Johnson, in 11th grade at Lafayette High School, was awarded first runner-up. Faith Fitzgerald, a 9th grader at Thomasville High School, won second runner-up. The third runner-up winner was Reagan Beach, a senior at North Cobb High School. Wade Chappell, a 10th grader at North Springs Charter High School, was awarded fourth runner-up. Hyuk Lee, a senior at Lambert High School, won fifth runner-up. Runners-up prizes range from $750 for first runner-up down to $100 for fifth runner-up.

Along with state winners, awards go to 164 school winners and grade winners from 72 high schools throughout Georgia. Additional students receive honorable mention recognition. More than 43,000 high school students across Georgia shared their values in a personal, Law of Life narrative for this year’s essay contest.

Rotary clubs across Georgia conduct the Laws of Life Essay Contest through the nonprofit Georgia Rotary Districts Character Education Program, Inc. Rotary clubs members volunteer to read and judge essays, serve on the contest’s Board of Directors, and volunteer their professional expertise to help build character and ethical literacy among students. “The essay contest is an opportunity for Rotarians to illustrate Rotary’s Service Above Self motto with their community,”  said Carol Gray, Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club member and Executive Director for GRDCEP.

For the 2019-2020 contest, a total of 43,506 students wrote essays, and 48 participating Rotary clubs in Georgia awarded over $20,000 in cash prizes. Throughout the spring, Georgia Laws of Life will share student winners reading their outstanding essays via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Since 1999, the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest has impacted over 750,000 students. Inspired by the power of simple quotes, or Laws of Life, Sir John Templeton established the writing competition in the 1980s to encourage young people to embrace the wisdom of these sayings and live their best lives. In their essays, students use a law to reflect on values that mean the most to them – values such as generosity, courage, perseverance, honesty, integrity, and compassion. Teachers at participating Georgia schools select the best work from among their students to enter into the contest.

The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest is made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  Major support also comes from Rotary Clubs as well as individual and corporate donors throughout Georgia.

  • State Winner, Cindy Huynh, 11th Grade, Brookwood High School
  • 1st Runner-Up, Savannah Johnson, 11th Grade, Lafayette High School
  • 2nd Runner-Up, Faith Fitzgerald, 9th Grade, Thomasville High School
  • 3rd Runner-Up, Reagan Beach, 12th Grade, North Cobb High School
  • 4th Runner-Up, Wade Chappell, 10th Grade, North Springs Charter
  • 5th Runner-Up, Hyuk Lee, 12th Grade, Lambert High School
  • George Stewart, Sha’niya Rogers, 9th Grade, Westover High School