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July 17, 2014
November 25, 2015

What do you do to make your community a better place? How has volunteering changed you and the way you view the world? Write an essay describing your experiences and be recognized for all that you do.


Each year at least two teens are honored for outstanding service to their community. Contest winners receive $100 for their favorite charity and a copy of the magazine featuring their winning essay. Plus, they’ll have the opportunity to choose from an exciting selection of Teen Ink merchandise – apparel and other items – available exclusively from Early Excellence.


Early Excellence will only consider original essays written by teens. Essays should be between 150 and 1,000 words. Feel free to include photos, though it isn’t required.

Share a moving experience. Tell us about someone special you met through volunteer work. Describe what you do and why it’s important to you. Give examples and remember to use as much detail as possible. For more suggestions on how to write a winning essay, see our Community Service Writing Tips.

Submit entries through our website or by e-mail to [email protected].

All fiction pieces submitted to Early Excellence are automatically considered for the contest. See our submission guidelines for more information.


There are no deadlines for this contest. Entries are considered for publication in Early Excellence magazine and online throughout the year.


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