Essay Contest for 4-H Members – Cash & Computer Prizes!

Call for Entries! 2021 Opportunity4All Essay Competition

Note: This contest is for 4-H members. Not a member yet? Join today! This essay contest is one of a number of opportunities offered to 4-H members throughout the year.

Expanding Broadband in Rural Communities
Submission Deadline: February 17, 2021
1st, 2nd, 3rd Prize Winners Announced: February 23, 2021

Sponsored by – Charter Communications

Coordinated by – UF/IFAS Extension, 4-H Youth Development

Essay Topic: Opportunity4All – Expanding Broadband in Rural Communities

COVID-19 has widened the opportunity gap between kids who have access to learning resources and mentors and those who do not. National 4-H’s Opportunity4All campaign aims to close the opportunity gap by providing opportunity for all kids. Now. According to the National 4-H Council’s report, Beyond the Gap (2020), one inequity that highlights the growing opportunity gap is the many children in America without access to technology and broadband – particularly those of color and those who live in rural areas. However, this access is critical to academic development as distance learning is a reality.

Please discuss the impact that technology and broadband issues are having on Florida’s rural and agricultural communities and what could be done to address these issues in relation to digital inequity, innovation, jobs, education and staying connected.


Put on Your Thinking Cap! An essential judging criterion is the scope of research you put forth in developing the ideas behind your essay—accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of the sources and the variety of the sources are all evaluated. Personal interviews with elected leaders, farmers, ranchers, small business owners, seniors and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented.

Eligibility: The 2021 Opportunity4All Essay Competition is open to active 4-H members only. Entered essays must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.

Competition Rules & Essay Requirements: Any 4-H member interested in writing an essay should contact their local Extension office for competition details. Failure to meet any one of the essay requirements will result in disqualification.

  • Essay requirements for 4-H judging:
    • Essay must be computer-generated and formatted following standard manuscript format using double-spaced type and 12pt font in legible font face.
    • Essay must encompass the designated topic in 750 to 1,000 words. Word count does not include sources, works cited or the writer’s biographical statement.
    • All factual statements and interview references must be cited in a “sources” or “bibliography” list.
    • Essays will be judged on (a) scope of research, 40%; (b) accuracy, 30%; (c) creativity, 10%; (d) conciseness, 10%; and (e) logical development of the topic, 10%.
    • On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including mailing address, email address and phone number.
  • Deadline for submission: February 17, 2021
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd place entries will be announced: February 23, 2020

Entries may be submitted for judging via the following link – SUBMIT ENTRIES.

Decisions made by Charter Communications and UF/IFAS Extension, 4-H Youth Development during judging are final. All competition entries become the property of Charter Communications and UF/IFAS Extension, 4-H Youth Development and may be used as they see fit.


Three cash prizes will be awarded by Charter Spectrum in the Opportunity4All Essay Competition. The author of the highest scoring essay will win first prize. The author of the second-highest scoring essay will win second prize. The author of the third-highest scoring essay will win third prize.

  • First Prize: $750
  • Second Prize: $500
  • Third Prize: $250

The three prize-winning essays will also be awarded a Chromebook and an opportunity to present/record their winning essay to be presented/featured on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at A Real Rural Tech Talk Roundtable event hosted at Sunny Acre Farms in Polk City, Florida.


Questions? Contact the UF/IFAS Extension, 4-H Youth Development Contest Coordinator at


Posted: February 8, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: Contest, Essay, Technology

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