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Scholarship essay challenge based on ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Broadway production

An essay contest for high school juniors and seniors in Wisconsin opens up a conversation about mental health during this pandemic.
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 5:06 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - An essay contest for high school juniors and seniors in Wisconsin opens up a conversation about mental health during this pandemic. Aside from the scholarship opportunity it’s an opportunity for us all to check in and support others.

The national essay challenge is based on the personal and profound contemporary Broadway musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’

“Juniors and seniors can respond to a prompt about the impact of connections, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ at its heart is a story about connection and belonging and how high school students specifically but it has the parents as well, how you navigate those connections,” said Maria Maria Van Laanen, President of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

In Wisconsin, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and it’s partners like Rodgers Behavioral Health, will provide five $1,000 scholarships and nationally there’s a chance to win $10,000.

“It gives our students another tool to process that while also partnering with them, they’ll have access to a workshop with college admission officers, who will talk about what they’re looking for in essays when you have to submit an essay with your college application,” said Van Laanen.

It’s also a conversation families can have about mental health, especially recognizing teens too have been finding ways to better connect and get through trying times.

“In our generation, there’s a lot of mental health stuff going on and throughout the pandemic, it kind of didn’t help very much, and some people will play it off and say oh they’re just teenagers they’re being dramatic but mental health is a real issue, and I’m glad people are bringing light to the issue,” said Lindsey Seaquist, a junior at Pulaski High School.

Click here to link to register and submit an essay.

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