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Graduating seniors can win a MacBook Air through essay contest

High school seniors in Hays County have an opportunity to win a MacBook Air, thanks to an essay competition by the Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD). If their entry is selected, one student from each of the six eligible schools will win a MacBook Air laptop*. See eligibility requirements below.

Matthew Gonzales, Health Equity and Community Engagement Program Manager for the HCLHD, said the essay competition is just one way the department is trying to get younger Hays County residents involved and active.

“We want to encourage young adults to participate in problem-solving through civic engagement,” he said. “This competition is a great way for us to not just hear but listen to and follow through on the voices and opinions of our youth.”

Gonzales said the essays will ask graduating seniors their thoughts about the impact of COVID-19 on school-aged children and what they learned from the experience.

“Our goal is to use those responses as a guide for policymakers to improve their response to future pandemics,” he said. “We know the pandemic impacted of all us in different ways. It’s important to gather insight from our youth so we can be better prepared for messaging in the future.”

The competition begins on January 1, 2023. Essays are due no later than March 12, 2023. HCLHD will accept essays via the online application process until 5 p.m. on the deadline day. Students will answer questions such as “Why would you like to receive this scholarship” and “What has been most challenging about your school experience during COVID-19?” They will also respond to what being a student during the pandemic taught them.

*NOTE: The competition requires a minimum of five (5) students from each high school to participate for an award to be provided. In other words, we will only award laptops if at least five students from EACH of the high schools apply. That would be a minimum of 30 submissions, five from each of the six schools. We invite teachers, principals, counselors and parents to share the competition information and encourage participation.

Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible participants must be a) graduating seniors in the class of 2023 who are currently attending:

  • Dripping Springs High School
  • Hays High School
  • Lehman High School
  • Johnson High School
  • San Marcos High School or
  • Wimberley High School;

and b) attending post-secondary or vocational school after graduation.

Contact the Hays County Health Equity and Community Engagement Program with any questions. Reach the HECE Program by email: or by phone 512.214.5918. Find the essay submission info here.

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Hays County