The Leaders of Tomorrow Essay Writing Contest ("the contest") is administered by the Leaders of Tomorrow staff ("the administrators"); in partnership with Investors Group, Mississauga West Office and Knights of Columbus, St. Christopher's Parish Council 12372.

1) Eligibility

Participation in the contest is eligible to students in grade seven (7) through twelve (12) who are enrolled and attend an educational institution with an official address in the cities of Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville or Caledon, Ontario, Canada ("participant"). Participants will be categorized into two groups, based on their grade level at their educational institution:

Group 1 - Grades seven (7) to eight (8)

Group 2 - Grades nine (9) to twelve (12)

Students who do not meet the criteria of the above may not enter the contest.

2) Entrance

Participants can enter the contest at their educational institution through the participant's teacher/instructor - the participating schools will have one or more teachers who will be participating in the contest. These teachers will then submit essays to the contest on their students' behalf. There are no limits to how many participants a teacher can represent, as long as the participant is a pupil of the teacher. However, only one submission per participant will be allowed. Multiple submissions from the same participant will disqualify the participant. Participants must write an essay that meets all criteria outlined in section 3.


3) Essay Criteria & Submission

The essay topic is “WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT PLASTIC POLLUTION?”. Essays written on another topic will not be eligible. The following word count restrictions will be used for each group of participants:

Group 1 - No minimum word count, maximum of 750 words.

Group 2 - Minimum 1000 words, maximum 1500 words.


Further supplementing this criteria, essays must adhere to the following guidelines to be eligible for submission:

a) All submissions must be typed and in the form of an electronic document file. Hand written essays will not be accepted. Acceptable file formats are: Microsoft Word (2003 or newer; .doc or .docx), Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf), Apple Pages (ʼ07 or newer; .pages) or Rich Text Files (.rtf). All other formats, including essays sent as the body of an email, or links to online cloud services will NOT be accepted.

b) The font size in the document must be in a minimum of 12pt font, to a maximum of 18pt font. Font used must be clear and easily legible.

c) All submissions must include a front title page as defined in the Submission Guidelines section of the Leaders of Tomorrow website. Failure to include a title page will result in that submission being rejected.


4) Copyrights & Plagiarism

By submitting an essay to the Leaders of Tomorrow contest, the participant agrees the work submitted is original and written by the participant. Submissions found to be copied in whole or in part from another source without proper quotation or citation will be disqualified from entry into the contest.


5) Judging Process & Winner Selection

a) Judges for the contest will be selected by the administrators of the Leaders of Tomorrow contest. All participating educational institutions will submit their essays to the administrators of the contest. All entries submitted from educational institutions will be read by the panel of judges and the top essays as decided by this panel, for each group will be declared winners. The judging criteria is as follows:

Ideas & Originality - 30%

Imagination & Inspiration - 20%

Practicality - 15%

Language & Writing Skills - 15%

Composition, Presentation, Organization - 20%

b) Judging Penalties: Penalties will be applied on an essays scoring if an essay falls short, or exceeds the specified word count for their group. The penalty will be equivilent to the percentage of excess or insufficient word count. This penalty will be applied to all essays, no matter which method they have been submitted in. For example, if an essay with a maximum allowed count of 1500 words, has a word count of 1650 (excess of words by 10%), a 10% penalty will be applied to the essay's score.


c) The Teacher’s Choice Winner Selection Process 

The teacher of each class may nominate the finalists for each category. All essays must be submitted by the teachers and received on or before May 4th, 2020. A panel of judges selected by the Knights of Columbus will nominate the top ten winners of each category to the organizing committee for a final decision. 
If a student wishes to submit his/her essay without a teacher’s nomination, they may e-mail their essay to to be accepted in the contest. All essay submissions are welcome as long as they meet the rules and regulations & submission guidelines. 


d) The People’s Choice Winner Selection Process
Please take note that we are no longer accepting essays for the People's Choice submission method. With our 10th anniversary launch we will be accepting entries to the Teacher's Choice method ONLY. The prizes for the Teacher's Choice method have been increased in value to better reward students for their hard work. We would like to invite Grade 7-12 Students, who wish to submit their essays, to request the assistance of their teachers. Please send us a message at if you have any questions regarding the rules and regulations of the contest.


6) Prizes

Group 1 - Elementary School - Teacher's Choice Method Winners

1st place $800 cash prize, and the IG Wealth Management Award 

2nd place $500 cash prize, and the Paul McAlpine Sr. Award 

3rd place $350 cash prize, and the Young Ontario Writers Award 

4th place $200 cash prize Young Ontario Writers Award

5th and 6th places $100.00 each cash prize

Group 2 - Secondary School - Teacher's Choice Method Winners

1st place $1,000 cash prize and the Brian Shannon Award 

2nd place $800 cash prize and the Ed Hammond Jr. Award

3rd place $500 cash prize and the IG Wealth Management Award

4th place $250 cash prize and the Young Ontario Writers Award

5th and 6th places $100.00 each cash prize


A total of 12 prizes are available to be won. All prize dollar amounts  are in Canadian dollars.


7) The Program Timeline

The Program Launch Date is Saturday, September 14, 2019 at MCBA’s Annual Community Crime Awareness Day (CCAD). The Essay Submission date begins on February 1, 2020 and the Essay Deadline is 11:59 PM EST, May 4, 2020. No essay submission will be accepted after the deadline. 
The essays submitted by the teachers will be evaluated by a Panel of Judges and the winners will be announced at the Award Presentation Ceremony on June 14, 2020. Prizes and awards will be presented on June 14, 2020 at the Leaders of Tomorrow Award Ceremony. Various dignitaries will be there to give out the awards. Dress code is semi-formal. More details will be published on the website. All essay contest information and rules are available on our


8) Rights to Publish & Permission to Contact 

By submitting an essay, participants agree to:

a) give Leaders of Tomorrow unrestricted permission to publish their essay, in whole or in part, digitally or in print. This includes, but is not limited to, republishing on the Leaders of Tomorrow website and future documentation and/or marketing materials.

b) allow the Leaders of Tomorrow administrators to contact participants via electronic mail in the future. You may unsubscribe from the Leaders of Tomorrow emails at any time.

c) allow the Leaders of Tomorrow administrators to share your essay with Peel Regional Police, school boards and/or other government agencies.


9) Rights to Capture and Publish Media

By submitting an essay, you allow Leaders of Tomorrow to record you either by photo and/or video ("media") at events at which Leaders of Tomorrow participates, and publish this media at the discretion of the Leaders of Tomorrow administrators. This includes but is not limited to publishing on the Leaders of Tomorrow website and future documentation and/or marketing materials.

The above Contest Rules & Regulations were last updated on September 1, 2019 with approval from the Chair and Contest Administrators of Leaders of Tomorrow.



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Essay Writing Contest 

Elementary School 
Group 1: Grades 7-8

Secondary School 
Group 2: Grades 9-12 

Peel Region 



Halton Region