History

For over 15 years, students of Wyoming have been learning and growing through the American Dream Essay Contest.

In 1987, Sir John Templeton, a world-renowned investment manager, first established the Laws of Life Essay Contest in Franklin County, Tennessee. His vision was to encourage young people to reflect upon and write about one of the laws of life that make an impact on their decisions, goals and attitude. Similar contests now take place in communities and schools throughout the United States and abroad because of his inspiration.

For over eleven years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming has hosted the Laws of Life Essay Contest, now called the American Dream Essay Contest.  This year we continue our partnership with James P. Owen, author of Cowboy Ethics, Cowboy Values and The Try to bring our youth a way to pursue their vision regarding the meaning of their lives and the ethics that guide them.

The thematic transition of the contest has allowed Wyoming’s youth the opportunity to express how they use their ethics and values to achieve their own American Dream. These essays perfectly illustrate what it means to live by the Code of the West and to never give up when faced with adversity when trying to achieve their goals.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming is proud to be a part of this amazing and inspiring opportunity for our youth. The American Dream Essay Contest has become a revered state tradition and we would like to say THANK YOU  to everyone who has made it possible, especially the wonderful sponsors who continually support the effort: the John Templeton Foundation, the Zimmerman Family Foundation and Larry and Margo Bean.


Cowboy Ethics Values

Students will write essays based on one of the 10 Cowboy Ethics Values as described in Jim Owen’s Cowboy Ethics book. They can also create their own Cowboy Ethics Value if they wish.


Local Contest

Schools will have local judges anonymously vote on the local first, second, and third place essays. Students will receive $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.


State Contest and Banquet

The local first place winners, their families, and teacher are invited to Casper, WY to celebrate their successes and attend a luncheon where the state first, second and thrid place winners are announced. Hotel rooms and lunch is provided. The first place state winner will receive $5,000!


Our Team

Sherman Hill

Teen Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming, Sherman Hill is the Contest Coordinator for the 2016-17 year.

PARTNERS

  • Larry & Margo Bean
  • Zimmerman Family
  • Templeton Foundation
  • Robert P. Schuster