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The 2018 Safed House Essay Contest

We are dedicated to representing unheard voices of refugees and recent immigrants to America. Safed House is focused on providing a secure platform where they can safely tell their human-interest narratives to an empathetic audience. With our youth program, the Safed House Essay Contest we are helping them to find a way to belong and pursue their educations. Our first program is an essay writing contest for high school students.

The essay writing contest will open April 18, 2018 and the participants have one month to submit.

The prize winners will be declared on June 20, 2018 on World Refugee Day. There will be a Safed House press release publicizing the recipients and a ceremony in the Fall of 2018.

  • The contest is open to any student in high school who migrated to the US during their own lifetime.
  • The essay should be at about 500 words.
  • The essay should describe and reflect on the journey the contestant took to travel to America.  What were your expectations before coming? And how have those expectations changed since living here?
  • The contest will open on April 18, 2018, and the deadline for submission is May 18, 2018. The essay should be emailed to
  • Please put in Subject Line: Safed House Essay Submission 2018
  • First prize is a $500 award. Winner is requested to be interviewed for a testimonial of their story on website.
  • Second Prize is a $250 award. Winner is requested to be interviewed for a testimonial of their story on website.
  • Three runners up and winners will receive free college essay mentoring from IVY-league graduate and novelist as well as be included in the ASU Storyscope project.

Note: Also Safed House will be participating in the Valley-wide celebration of World Refugee Day so there might be an opportunity for winners to participate in that event as well. More details to follow on this.

In 2017, the inaugural year for the contest, was open to any student not yet pursuing a higher education, i.e. in high school or below who migrated to the US during their own lifetime. During this first year, the essay contest was made available to students in the Phoenix, AZ area and Brooklyn NY.

The contest opened April 15, 2017 and closed June 1, 2017. During this short time, we were able to attract over 50 contestants of various ethnicities to participate. This turnout demonstrates the demand and needs by recent immigrant and refugee populations described to have their stories heard. Safed House will conduct this writing program on an annual basis.

Sharing Circle

For future programming, we are seeking stories from parents to document their journeys to America and follow their resettlement and adjustment to life in America. Currently we have a program in development called Sharing Circle focused on Refugee Women.