The United Nations Association, Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties Chapter has extended the deadline of the 2010 essay contest to May 7.

The prompt is in correspondence with this year’s local United Nations Day theme: “U.N. Empowering Women and Children Globally.”

High school students are asked to contemplate and articulate the most effective strategies the United Nations can abide by to enable women to become more self-sufficient and to encourage the international community to protect women and children.

Submissions must be 1,500 words or fewer, and will be judged on content, originality and style. 

The first-place winner will be awarded $200 and the opportunity to read their essay at the 2010 United Nations Day celebration. The second-place winner will receive $125, and third place will receive $75.

Every year, the Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties chapter organizes a United Nations Day celebration with a corresponding essay contest for high school students. This year’s topic, “U.N. Empowering Women and Children Globally,” remains prevalent despite the great strides made by the United Nations Development Fund for Women. According to the World Economic Forum, “Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.”

The essay contest is open to students in grades nine through 12 and must be submitted by May 7. For guidelines, entry forms and more information, click here or e-mail Katrina Sill at E-mail entry forms and essays to or mail to UNA-USA, P.O. Box 91844, Santa Barbara, CA 93190. All applications must be sent and/or postmarked by May 7.

— Katrina Sill represents the United Nations Association, Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties Chapter.