Student Heritage Essay Contest

Where Do You Come From

As part of the “Exploring Schenectady County’s Immigrant Past”, sponsored in part by the Schenectady County Initiative Program, the Schenectady County Historic Society is pleased to offer its first Student Heritage Essay Contest.

The essay contest is open to all students attending kindergarten through 12th grade in a school district or homeschool located in Schenectady County. A group of community panelists will join the Historical Society’s staff to select the top essays in each age group. Notification will go out to the top essayists by Monday January 5. On Saturday January 10, these students will be invited to read their essays aloud prior to the opening of the exhibition “Boomtown: Immigration, Technology, and Urban Schenectady.”

The first place essay winners in each category will be awarded a cash-prize, and the top essayists in each category will receive Mabee Farm t-shirts, have quotes from their essays utilized throughout the exhibit, and receive recognition during the Student Seminar on November 15.

Each essay should respond to the appropriate prompt below.

 Grades K – 4

How does your family’s history shape your life today?

Grades 5 – 8

How has immigration impacted Schenectady County throughout its history, and what influence has that had on your own life?

Grades 9 – 12

What are some of the biggest issues facing immigrants to Schenectady County today, and how do those differ from the challenges faced by immigrants throughout Schenectady County’s history?

Essays should either be emailed to or mailed to the Mabee Farm Historic Site, 1100 Main St. Rotterdam Junction, NY by no later than 5:00PM on Friday, January 2. All essays should include the student’s name, age, grade, teacher, school, and contact information.