Teens and College Students Share Environmental Viewpoints on Gulf Oil Spill Through National Writing Contest

Jun 16, 2010, 12:49 ET from Stage of Life LLC

StageofLife.com provides interactive writing platform for high school and college bloggers

DALLASTOWN, Pa., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each month, thousands of students in high school and college visit the monthly writing contest page on StageofLife.com.  Stage of Life LLC, a Pennsylvania start-up, kicked off the monthly writing contest geared toward teen and college students six months ago to provide a national venue for aspiring young writers and bloggers to share their viewpoints and perspectives on a monthly topic that's relevant to students. 

Last month's writing contest topic used the Gulf Oil Spill as the backdrop to ask the question, "What is one behavior you can either change or incorporate into your daily life that will reduce our negative impact on the environment?"  

Scores of essays and blogs were submitted by teens and college students across the US tackling environmental issues and topics ranging from the nation's dependence on oil, waste management, litter, carpooling, and more.  Six finalists were named and the winner, Michael, a high school student from San Diego, who found out about the contest from his AP English teacher, was notified about his winning essay this week by CEO Eric Thiegs.  Michael is receiving a gift card, T-shirt, and permanent status as a Featured Blogger on StageofLife.com for his winning essay addressing the Gulf Oil crisis entitled, "Preserving Nature's Splendor "

Past high school winner, Derek, of Baltimore said, "Though I was thrilled about winning, I'm more thankful that I am now a Featured Writer for the site. The site has taught me that by just being in 11th Grade and having survived two and a half years of high school, I do have something to say. And that's a really empowering feeling to truly believe that you have a voice and that your thoughts matter."

Megan, of Red Lion, PA, another previous teen writer winner, shared in the excitement, "When I found out I won, I was really proud of myself. This time last year, it would have killed me to write that (essay). But my eyes were opened to the love of writing, and having it recognized as a winner was absolutely fantastic."

The monthly writing contest offers a chance for students to share and compare ideas across sensitive or difficult subject matter.  Past contest topics included, "Policy change:  If you could effect political or social policy change in the United States on one issue - what would it be and why?" and, "The 2000's in review:  What would you name the last decade?  The last ten years from a student perspective."

The student writers' essays must be no longer than 500 words and must address the monthly question or topic proposed.  The essays are open for the general public to read and the site also allows for people to rate and post comments or give writer feedback on the individual contest submissions.

The current writing contest question for June uses a USAToday web series entitled Degrees of Difficulty as the backdrop to pose the question:  "What is the most difficult thing (for you) about college?"  

And this is not a hypothetical question.  Stage of Life wants to know.  The June writing contest ends at midnight PST on June 30 and a panel of judges are ready to review the next batch of writing contest submissions.

The organic and viral success of the student writing contest and its subsequent increase of traffic by teen, college and student writers to StageofLife.com has energized Thiegs.

"We didn't know what to expect when we started the student writing contest.  Six months ago, our first topic had maybe a dozen submissions.  This is an organic experiment and when you suddenly have thousands of teens and college students looking at your site AND participating...it's exciting.  We've always been about changing the world, one story at a time, and this is a real chance for students to have their voices heard and their words read about important issues by a growing and diverse audience...and to us, that alone is a prize for aspiring writers."

Sponsorship opportunities for national brands are currently being considered by Stage of Life in conjunction with the monthly student writing contest for the 2010-2011 school year.  

Stage of Life™ is a free website for the generations of today's teens, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers to share a story or some wisdom, ask for advice, and get deals and discounts from well known brands and merchants for every stage of life between high school and retirement...and all the major milestones in between.  Stage of Life gives you "Rewards for Life's Journey."

If you'd like more information about StageofLife.com or an interview with CEO/Founder, Eric Thiegs, please call 717-650-0699 or send email to eric@stageoflife.com

SOURCE Stage of Life LLC