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Calling All High School Students – Essay Contest

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and the Lake County Board of DD/Deepwood is holding an Essay Contest open to all High School students who are residents of Lake County, Ohio. Our hope is that the inclusion of others is top of mind as students go throughout life and step into adulthood. Together, side by side, we can foster a community that is inclusive of all abilities.

Each student can enter one essay, answering the question:

Why is it important to stand side by side to promote inclusion of individuals who have developmental disabilities?

The winning essay will receive $200 in an array of gift cards from local businesses who support and recognize the talents and contributions of individuals who have developmental disabilities. The runner-up will receive $100 in gift cards. Prizes are generously donated by the Deepwood Foundation. Winning entries will be announced to the public on April 25, 2022.

  • Format: The essay should be submitted in .pdf format and suitable for printing on 8.5 x 11.0 paper. Submissions must be typed. We recommend the essay be double spaced in 12-point font. Please do not insert graphics or photos. 
  • Essay Length: The essay must not exceed 1,000 words in length.
  • Deadline: All submissions must be received by the County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Deepwood on/before March 31, 2022.
  • Submission Process: Essay (with cover sheet) should be emailed to or dropped off at Lake County Board of DD/Deepwood, 8121 Deepwood Blvd, Mentor, OH 44060.
  • Cover Sheet: An accompanying cover sheet must be attached to the essay.
  • Original Work: The essay must be the original work of the submitter. Team writing, parental participation, and the use of works written by other sources, even if footnoted, is not authorized.

We are excited to read the essay submissions!

Questions? Call  (440) 350-5050 or email

Link to Printable Essay Contest Flyer and Cover Sheet

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