Virginia Council on Women’s 12th Annual High School Essay Contest announced

The contest is a scholarship opportunity for high school females pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and healthcare
RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that the Virginia Council on Women is encouraging female high school students to enter the 12th Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Healthcare essay contest. 

“Educational development is an inherently collaborative endeavor, and the Virginia Council on Women’s commitment to investing in Virginia’s students continues to be an invaluable asset to our Commonwealth’s education priorities,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The pipeline from education to high paying jobs in Virginia is essential to making the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” 
“The STEAM-H Essay Contest provides an opportunity for young women around the commonwealth to receive scholarships which invests in their future and helps them to pursue the careers they dream of having. I am proud to be a part of this opportunity,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kay Coles James.

“The Virginia Council on Women’s STEM scholarship can open doors to opportunities for young women interested in a career in science, technology, or math to pursue their dreams and further their education. I encourage all interested high school students to learn more and apply for this scholarship!” said Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera.  “With the essay contest entering its twelfth year, the Council on Women continues to be thankful that we can assist bright minds in every corner of the Commonwealth as they move forward on their STEAM-H journeys,” said Ashley Marshall, Chair of the Virginia Council on Women. “As a Council, each and every member is dedicated to helping women reach their full potential and make their full contribution to society and the Commonwealth. This essay contest, and its support by Governor Youngkin and First Lady Youngkin is an important way for the Council to be able to continue that work and to lift up women across Virginia.” 

In 2012, the Virginia Council on Women held the first STEM Essay Contest to award scholarships to high school students who want to pursue a STEM career. The Council has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships during the eleven years the contest has been held. The STEM Essay contest has expanded to the STEAM-H contest to encompass more career opportunities for women and assist them in scholarship opportunities. 

The Council will award scholarships to qualifying high school seniors who plan to pursue a STEAM-H career at a community college, four-year college or university, trade or technical school, online, and/or through certificated STEAM-H oriented courses. The 12th annual contest will award one merit-based and one need-based scholarship in each of five geographic regions across the Commonwealth. Merit-based scholarships will be awarded based on the quality of the essay submitted. Need-based scholarships will be awarded based on the quality of the essay submitted and the individual’s self-identified financial need. Award amounts may vary and are determined by the Council annually.   The contest is open to Virginia women in their senior year of high school who hold at least a 3.0 GPA for the merit-based awards and a 2.5 GPA for the need-based scholarships.  Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on March 15, 2023. Essays will be judged by a panel of Council members and individuals who represent STEAM-H fields. Winners will be notified in April 2023. The scholarship awards will be presented in the late spring of 2023.   The purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to identify ways in which women can reach their full potential and contribute to society and the Commonwealth. The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal, including the annual STEAM-H Essay Contest for high school seniors. Find additional information about the Council and available sponsorship opportunities here