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Attention High School Students in Lake County

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.

Each student has the opportunity to enter one essay reflecting on:

What makes you unique and what obstacles and/or challenges have you had to overcome to embrace your distinct characteristics?

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 Deepwood Foundation. Winning entries will be announced to the public on April 24, 2023.

  • 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 750 words in length.
  • Deadline: All submissions must be received by the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Deepwood on/before March 31, 2023.
  • 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: The 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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