Filed Under:  Education

The Teacher Who Changed My Life

17th December 2012   ·   0 Comments

An Essay Contest By New America Media and New Orleans Ethnic Media

As the city and state usher in a new era of education, The Louisiana Weekly is partnering with New America Media (NAM) and other media partners in New Orleans to organize an essay contest on teachers. We invite you to write a short essay of no more than 500 words describing the teacher who changed your life or the life of your child. Who is this remarkable person? Did this person mentor you, open your mind to a subject that became your passion or help you in a personal crisis?

Deadline for entry is April 5, 2013. (Mail-in entries must be postmarked by then).

Click here to submit an application in online in English.

Click here to submit an application in online in Spanish

Mail-in entry forms can be downloaded here. All entries are subject to the contest’s Official Rules below.

Eligible contestants
All contestants must reside in New Orleans or the surrounding parishes. You can ONLY enter one of the following categories:
1) Teenagers between 14 to 18 years old;
Write about a teacher, who is not your relative, who teaches in public or private school in the city of New Orleans or the surrounding parishes.
2) Adults 19 years of age and older;
Write about a teacher, who is not your relative, who teaches in public or private school in the city of New Orleans or the surrounding parishes who have changed your life or the life of your child.
3) Teachers in Memory
Write about a teacher, who is not your relative, who might have passed away or lost contact with, or a teacher who taught you in your home country.

Essay format
Essay writers are invited to write up to 500 words. In English or in the writer’s native language. In-language submissions will be translated prior to final judging. Essays should be sent us via email or regular mail, along with the Entry Form (See below).

Judges and selection critieria
Distinguished educators, journalists, scholars and advocates will select a winner from each category. Judges will look for evidence that the teacher opened up a new pathway of knowledge or opportunity for the student that he or she had previously not been aware of, or that the teacher inspired or fostered a love of learning. We are looking for real life examples and expect the entries will help us expand our definition of what a “great teacher” is.

Winners in the “Teenager” and “Adult” categories will each receive a cash award of $500 and the teachers profiled will also receive an award of $500. Winner in “Teacher In Memory” will have the honor to pick a local public school in New Orleans or the surrounding parishes to donate a $500 check made by NAM.

Award Presentation
We will host a special presentation of the awards in New Orleans in March. Winning essays will be published by NAM and other media outlets.

Entry form and official contest rules below

To enter the contest, please send your completed entry form and essay via email to or by mail to:
The Louisiana Weekly
Attn: David T. Baker
2215 Pelopidas St.,
New Orleans, LA 70122

Contest Entry Form




  1. Eligibility.  The Teacher Who Changed My Life Contest (the “Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the city of New Orleans or the surrounding parishes (including Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and Washington.), Louisiana, who are fourteen (14) years of age or older at the time of entry.  Employees of Sponsors (as defined below) and each of their respective related companies, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible.  The Contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.


  1. Sponsors.  New America Media, 275 Ninth Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 and The Louisiana Weekly, 2215 Pelopidas St., New Orleans, LA 70122 (the “Sponsors”).

  1. Agreement to Official Rules.  Participation in the Contest constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and the Sponsors, which are final and binding.

  1. Entry Period.  The Contest begins on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 noon Central Time (“CT”) and ends on February 19, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. CT (the “Entry Period”).

  1. Entry.  To enter, during the Entry Period, fill out the entry form, provide a biography of yourself (no more than 200 words), and submit a short essay (no more than 500 words) in English or your native language on one (1) of the following topics, as applicable to you:  (a) if you are between fourteen (14) and eighteen (18) years old, write about a teacher who is not your relative and who teaches or taught in a public or private school in New Orleans or surrounding parishes and who changed your life (the “Teenager” category); (b) if you are nineteen (19) years old or older, write about a teacher who is not your relative and who teaches or taught in a public or private school in New Orleans or surrounding parishes and who changed your life or the life of your child (the “Adult” category); or (c) write about a teacher who is not your relative but who taught you and with whom you have lost contact, who taught you in your home country, or who has passed away (the “Teacher in Memory” category).  If you submit an essay in a language other than English, New America Media will translate your essay prior to judging.  Your entry must be true, your own original work, and must not have been entered, in whole or in part, into any other contest, promotion or exhibition, or otherwise published or distributed.  The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion, to refuse to accept any entry for any reason.


During the Entry Period, submit your entry form, biography and essay to Sponsors by email to or by mail to The Louisiana Weekly, 2215 Pelopidas St., New Orleans, LA 70122.  Emailed entries must be received by Sponsors during the Entry Period, and mailed entries must be postmarked during the Entry Period.  Limit:  one (1) entry per person. Subsequent entries will be void.  Entries will not be acknowledged or returned.  Illegible entries will be disqualified.

  1. Selection of Potential Winners.  On or about February 8, 2013, a panel of judges will select one (1) potential winner from each of the three (3) categories of submissions, as described above.  Entries will be judged on how well the essay conveys a portrait of the teacher and how descriptive it is of the teacher’s impact. In the event of a tie, the entry with the higher score for how great the essay conveys a portrait of the teacher will be the potential winner.  Potential winner will be notified by email, phone or postal mail.  If the potential winner cannot be contacted within five (5) days of the first attempt to contact him/her, the entrant in that category with the next highest score will be the potential winner.


  1. Requirements of Potential Winners.  Except where prohibited, each potential winner must complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the “Affidavit/Release”) within ten (10) days of being notified.  If a potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release within the required time period, if notification or prize is returned as undeliverable, or if Sponsors determine in their sole discretion that a potential winner is ineligible, an alternate entrant will be selected in his/her place.  If a potential winner is a minor, his/her parent or legal guardian must sign and return all requested documents and accept the prize on his/her behalf.  Unless prohibited by law, acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsors to use winner’s name, picture, likeness, address (city and state), and biographical information for advertising and publicity purposes, worldwide, without further compensation.

  1. Prizes.  The winners of the Teenager and Adult categories will each receive Five Hundred Dollars ($500), and the teachers that they profiled in their entries will also each receive Five Hundred Dollars ($500).  The winner of the Teacher In Memory category will have the honor of selecting a public school in city of New Orleans or the surrounding parishes, Louisiana to receive an award of Five Hundred Dollars ($500).  All federal, state and local taxes and all other expenses not specifically mentioned herein are the responsibility solely of winner.  Prize is non-transferable and non-assignable.  No substitution permitted, except that Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize with another prize of comparable or greater value at Sponsors’ sole discretion.

  1. Sponsors’ Rights to Entries.  By entering, you grant to the Sponsors a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, fully sublicensable (through multiple tiers) and transferable license, without additional consideration to you or third parties, to (a) publish, reproduce, distribute and display (publicly or otherwise), adapt, modify, edit, translate, make available to the public, make, sell, offer to sell, import and otherwise use and exploit (and have others exercise such rights on behalf of the Sponsors, through multiple tiers) your entry, in any format or media now known or hereafter developed; (b) create derivative works from and incorporate your entry into other works or into the Sponsors’ or their designees’ products or services; (c) use your entry for the Sponsors’ advertising and promotional purposes; and (d) use your name, photograph, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, statements, and biographical information for the Sponsors’ advertising and promotional purposes in connection with your entry, for the purpose of administering and promoting the Contest, any future Sponsor promotions, and/or the Sponsors.  You hereby waive any and all rights that you each may have under laws worldwide that concern “moral rights” or “droit moral” in connection with your entry.


  1. General Conditions.  In the event that the operation, security or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, Sponsors may, in their sole discretion, either (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules, or (b) award the prizes according to the applicable judging criteria from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment.  Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual they find to be tampering with the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in a disruptive manner.  Any attempt by any person to undermine the operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsors reserve the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision.  In the event of a dispute as to any online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant.  The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address.  In the event that an entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost or destroyed, entrant’s sole remedy shall be another entry into the Contest.  If any provision of these Official Rules is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck, and the remaining provisions shall be enforced.


  1. Release and Indemnity; Limitations of Liability.  By participating in the Contest, you agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsors, their respective parent and related companies, and each such company’s respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, participation in the Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to:  (a) claims that your entry violates any copyrights, patents, trademark rights, publicity rights or other rights; (b) claims arising from any use or other exploitation of, or failure to use or exploit your entry; (c) claims arising from any breach or alleged breach by you of these Official Rules; (d) claims of misappropriation of ideas or other intellectual property; (e) claims arising from any technical, translation or printing errors, including errors that may prevent you from submitting an entry; (f) claims arising from unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (g) claims arising from lost, late, damaged, postage-due, misdirected or undeliverable mail or e-mail; (h) claims arising from errors in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; and (i) claims arising from injury, death or damage to persons or property.  You further agree that in any cause of action, the Released Parties’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall the Released Parties be liable for attorneys’ fees.


  1. Disputes.  Except where prohibited, you agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the State of Louisiana. All issues and questions concerning these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or Sponsors’ rights and obligations shall be governed by the laws of the State of Louisiana without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules.

  1. List of Winners.  For the results, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to New America Media, 209 Ninth Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94103, Attention: The teacher Who Changed My Life Essay Contest.  Requests must be received by March 15, 2013.

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