Student Essay Contest

The Bartlesville Rotary Club Essay Contest offers high school seniors in the Bartlesville area the opportunity to receive scholarships of between $250 and $1000 for outstanding examples of writing, creativity, research, and knowledge of Rotary. Eligible students include those from the Bartlesville, Dewey, Copan, and Caney Valley high schools as well as Wesleyan Christian School and homeschool students. In addition to submitting an approximately 500-word essay, finalists with high caliber essays will be asked to read their essay to the Bartlesville Rotary Club at a noon meeting.

The essay topics may include:

  • Influence of the 4-Way Test in the lives of those who practice this belief.
  • What does “Service above Self” look like?
  • What does Rotary do for the community? the state? the world?
  • Why would I want to become a Rotarian?

The format must be as follows:

  • MLA Format (Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double spaced, 1 inch
  • Students must use proper citations and references.


Contact your school counselor for submission forms. Or for more information, and to download entry form, click here.

Previous recipients


Bartlesville High School senior Kate Boudreaux is the 2023 winner of the Rotary Essay contest. Kate’s essay, “Influence of the 4-Way Test,” focused on the Rotary International 4-way test, highlighting its potential influence on modern society if adopted.

“The manipulation would stop if those in influence would step back and take feelings out of decisions. Goodwill could prevail. Perhaps it starts with politicians holding advertisers to a higher standard. Perhaps it starts with leaders living up to a higher standard. Perhaps it starts with social media executives being more accountable for posts. Perhaps it starts with teachers holding students to conduct becoming in a learning environment. Perhaps it starts with parents modeling a higher standard of restraint to children. Perhaps it starts with me continuing to ask those four simple questions to those around me. As our founding father, Robert Wintrop said, ‘Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them’” (Wintrop). Using the 4-way test seems much more peaceful than the weapon-yielding alternative.”  Kate plans to attend OSU in the fall of 2023 and hopes to complete a degree in nutrition and then pursue education and a career as a hospitalist. “I plan to use the funds to purchase school materials and a laptop.”



“You Before Me.” Using his own experiences as an Eagle Scou and his involvement in advancing service as a volunteer in soup kitchens and through other service projects, Charlie’s essay focused on service that impacts day-to-day life. “Service is more than giving your time. It is the manifestation of goodwill towards others. That is what service looks like to me.” Charlie plans to attend OSU in the fall 2022 and hopes to become an aerospace/mechanical engineering.

“Thank you for selecting me for this generous scholarship. The graduating class of 2022 was such a talented group. I am very blessed to have been chosen.”



“Service Over Self.” Claire’s essay established the power of “servant-leadership” for the good of humanity. Individuals featured in her essay were Gandhi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. “As I reflect on humanity, I can’t help but think of the impact that we have the potential of making, the hearts that we could reach. Service is a powerful light, and I can’t help but imagine how bright the world would be if we all chose to place service about ourselves.” Claire is a 2020 BHS graduate and began her college career in 2020 at Texas Christian University (TCU), majoring in Biochemistry on the Pre-Med track with plans to attend medical school.

“Receiving the Rotary Club Essay Scholarship means being given an opportunity to focus on my academic pursuits without the worry of finances.”












Click here for complete contest guidelines and entry form.