Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Southern Coptic Diocese "Youth for Christ" 2010 Award

December 14, 2009

COLLEYVILLE, TX. December 14, 2009 -- Southern Coptic Diocese "Youth for Christ" 2010 Award

The Youth for Christ Award is an annual scholarship assistance and essay contest for High School Youth. We all know that living a faithful Orthodox life in mainstream culture is a tough task--temptations are everywhere and sometimes the values we see in peers, the media, or society at large do not match the values held by our families, the Coptic church, or the Holy Bible. How do we practice Orthodoxy in a tumultuous culture? How do we grow up in this ever-changing world and stay true to God, honoring His gifts and following His path?

We invite young people from the Southern US Coptic Diocese this year to write an original essay on the topic "The Practical Coptic Orthodox Youth Regardless of a Tumultuous Culture"

  • The first winner will have his or her paper published on the Diocese website.
  • He/She will be also attending the Diocese Youth Convention completely free. Note: Certificate must be submitted with registration.
  • The second and Third place winners will be also attending the Diocese Youth Convention at one third and one half cost respectively.
  • Each contestant will receive a certificate signed by HG Bishop Youssef that he/she successfully participated in the contest.
  • Each Church is encouraged to support her youth in how to think through and address the topic.
  • Each Church is encouraged to hold a ceremony for all of the church contestants and give additional awards of the priest choice


  • February 15, 2010: Outlines and Sunday School teacher note due. Sunday School teacher recommendation should attest to student's age and character.
  • March 25, 2010: Final Papers due.
  • May 25, 2009: Winner Announced.

Submission Guidelines: Paper should be 4-5 pages, double spaced, 11pt font. Papers should cover the following areas in responding to the topic:

Biblical Wisdom (Quotes from Old and New Testament)20 pts
Patristic Wisdom (Quotes from the Sayings of the Church Fathers)15 pts
Comprehensiveness (Covers all facets of the issue: God's command, making the right choices in difficult times, how to get support in the inner struggle, external pressures, confession, etc...)15 pts
Practical Application (Addressing how this actually works in a young person's daily life & environment)20 pts
Illustrates empowered, fulfilled living (At peace with self, Joyful living...)20 pts
Conforms to Language Arts standards10 pts

To Participate:

Review Process and Awards:

  • Papers will be first peer reviewed, then the top 10% will be reviewed by a board.
    • Each Contestant will submit his/her paper by the deadline.
    • Names on actual papers will be stripped away (to preserve anonymity) and each anonymous paper will be emailed back to 4 other peers to score it according to the criteria listed above.
    • Peers will give a score based on the criteria listed above, with a final mark out of 100.
    • Peers will email the scores for each of the 4 anonymous papers to the Diocese.
    • The diocese will average the scores received from each reviewing peer so that each paper will get a final peer review mark that is the average of the 4 marks given by his/her peers
    • The top 10% of all papers will be identified, and will be reviewed by an actual board of reviewers to determine the best paper.
  • Winning paper will be published on the diocese website.
  • Funds from registration plus a $1000 will be used to support the education fund of a sister/brother of Christ.
  • Ceremony for Award will be made in the winning contestant's church.
  • Top winner will attend the annual winter youth retreat completely free.

This contest is only open to High School Youth.