Essay Package

The Heart Of Vailsburg Block Club Coalition

“Dedicated to empowering the residents of the Vailsburg area, but also seeking to improve the quality of life for every Newarker.”

Is hosting an Essay Contest

To celebrate Our Current TRUE NEWARK PIONEERS!

With the contribution of WBGO Radio, and the ongoing support of UVSO, the Heart of Vailsburg Block Club Coalition (HOV-BCC) is pleased to recognize ordinary people for their extraordinary works that live in Newark and are known for giving back to the community with their time, money, works, or ideas.

The purpose of this essay competition is to provide a chance for the youth to get to know more about older people (40 years old and above) that have made a difference in Newark. The youth writer will showcase their ability to tell the story about a great pioneer. A True Newark Pioneer is someone who has done something good for the people of Newark and that is still living in Newark.

All Newark middle and high school students (public or charter) living at a Newark address can compete, the rules are set forth in this packet.

For more information contact:

Visit the website:

Rules For the HOVBCCC Honoring Our TRUE NEWARK PIONEERS Contest

The rules below are how the HOVBCC will govern the contest.

  1. The contest is limited to students living in Newark, New Jersey and attending a Newark public or charter school between the 6th and 12th grades.

  2. All participants must follow City of Newark, New Jersey COVID-19 guidelines when interviewing the person, contestants must tell the story of a living True Newark Pioneer and type a report that celebrates that Newark Pioneer, in a way that is safe. Interviews can be done remotely. For info on staying safe under COVID visit

  1. All entries with the COVER PAGE must be received by April 30 , 2021 , 11:59pm to and become the property of HOVBCC.

  1. Each essay will be reviewed by a panel of at least three (3) judges according to the following criteria:

    1. Eligibility Criteria -The writer must live in Newark and must attend a school in Newark

    2. The True Newark Pioneer selected by the writer must live in Newark, the pioneer can be a relative of the writer (over the age of 40).

    3. Essay must include 2-4 pictures of the pioneer (with caption for each)

    4. Essay should have good spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

    5. Essay must follow format requested for the level of competition (6-8th graders shall have an essay format, while 9-12th graders should write an interview format) suggestive resources are on links on the next page.

    6. Essays must not include student’s name or any other identifying information about the student. This information should only be written on the cover sheet (the first page). So that when scoring of essays are done by the judges it can be done without bias.

    7. Essays/ interviews must be typed size 12 font, double spaced, numbered pages, be a minimum of 500 words and not exceed 700 words.

    8. Parent/ guardian must acknowledge consent by typing name on the COVER PAGE.

    9. Student writer must agree to the Honesty Pledge on the COVER PAGE by typing name underneath the statement after reading it.

    10. The content of the COVER PAGE or the actual COVER PAGE must be at the beginning of the essay submitted to the Heart Of Vailsburg BCC. The COVER PAGE is located on the last page of this document.

All entries must be emailed with the COVER PAGE below to and received by April 30, 2021, 11:59pm and become the property of HOVBCC. Prize winning essays will be posted on the website.

Awards for selected essays by the judges are as follows:

Interview Essay winners for 9th to 12th graders

1st Place - $150. Gift Card

2nd Place - $100. Gift Card

3rd Place - $50. Gift Card

Essay winners for 6th to 8th graders

1st Place - $100. Gift Card

2nd Place - $75. Gift Card

3rd Place - $25. Gift Card

Judging results announced for the winners at a special June- 2021 Heart of Vailsburg BCC General Assembly Meeting.

Resources to help contestants to be successful in the contest:

    1. For the latest safety measures on COVID

    2. For idea/ support with writing an interview for high schoolers

    3. Rubric for interview essay

    4. For idea/ support for writing of biographic essay for 6th-8th graders

    5. Rubric for biographic essay

Good luck and be safe during all your interactions.

The COVER PAGE on page 4 of this package must be completed and included with the essay as the first page.



Last Name:

First Name:

Student Email:

Newark Address:


Newark School:

Name of Parent(s) or Guardian(s):

Parent / Guardian Email:

Student’s Honor Statement:

Typed name is equivalent to agreement.

This essay represents my own work. I am eligible to participate in the HOVBCC Essay Contest. I understand that my essay will become the property of HOVBCCC to use at its discretion, that it will not be returned to me, and that the judges’ decisions are final.

Student's Signature (typed):


Parent Permission Signature (typed):


Parental Agreement:

Typed name is equivalent to agreement.

By signing this (by typing your name), I agree to allow HOVBCC to use and/or publish the essay that I have submitted to the True Newark Pioneer Essay Contest, and to use my child's name to identify the author of the essay. I release HOVBCC from any claims that occur in connection with the use of the original essay. I have read the foregoing and fully understand the contents thereof.

Name of Parent or Guardian (typed):