Students in grades 9 through 12 can enter the First Freedom Student Competition, a national essay and video contest that examines the First Amendment and freedom of religion in American democracy. The contest includes the opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards.

This school year, students will select a religion from their local community, state or region that was or is a minority group. Students will research and analyze its history as it encounters issues of religious freedom and equality, and then present their evaluation – in the form of a video or written essay – of how the group’s local history compares to the broader narrative of U.S. history and First Amendment law.

For the complete topic, essay and video guidelines, registration and other details, visit, and then click on First Freedom Student Competition.

Student online registration is required on or before Nov. 17; the postmark deadline for students to mail their essays or videos with the accompanying entry materials is Nov. 24. Winners will be announced on April 13, 2015.