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Category 1 (ages 7–10*)
If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?
Have you ever found yourself fascinated by an animal in your yard or at the zoo and thought how cool it would be to be that animal? Maybe you would enjoy being a greyhound dog, able to zoom at speeds of 40mph. Perhaps you want to feel the sensation of flying weightlessly like an eagle or fitting through a hole the size of a quarter like an octopus.
Tell us about an animal whose unique features and abilities you would like to experience.
To get started, put yourself in someone else’s shoes – or boots or moccasins – and let your imagination take you there!
Category 2 (ages 11–14*)
If you could travel outside of your country, where would you go and why?
Have you ever seen a picture from a distant land that stirred in you a strong desire to visit that country? Maybe you want to pace the halls of a European king’s greatest palace, walk along the Great Wall of China, cut through the thick vegetation of the Amazon rainforest, or camp under the Milky Way in the Sahara desert.
Tell us about a faraway place you’d like to visit and what makes it so special to you.
Category 3 (ages 15–19*)
Considering the role gratitude and generosity play in personal happiness, how should you and your peers approach life after high school? Write a persuasive essay outlining the values and ambitions that your generation should adopt to positively impact your lives.
When asked how much money was enough, American billionaire J.D. Rockerfeller famously replied, “Just a little bit more.” It’s easy to slip into thinking that we need more money to be happier. But research increasingly shows that intangibles like gratitude and generosity are vital ingredients in the recipe for happiness and good mental health, irrespective of a person’s wealth. In fact, one recent joint university study found no notable difference in levels of observable happiness from wealthier to poorer countries who had the same high or low level of generosity.
As you prepare for what the future holds for you after high school, we invite you to delve into the relationship between generosity, thankfulness, happiness, and wealth. How are they related or not related? What makes true happiness?
*All ages are as of September 1, 2017.
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If you could go back in time, who would you most want to have a conversation with, why, and what would you want to talk about?
If you could go back in time, what day would you most like to witness up close, like a fly on the wall, and why?
If you could go back in time, what historical event would you like to have been involved in, and why?