Since 2012, the Excel in the Estrie! essay challenge has celebrated the success of high school seniors and helped them to think proactively about their future in the Eastern Townships.

Organized by the Place aux jeunes Eastern Townships project, the challenge was originally launched alongside the regional Hooked on School Days initiative to celebrate school perseverance.

We want to hear your stories about overcoming obstacles on your path to graduation how you see yourself, in the future, living and working in the region. Enter today and share your story!

How to enter

This contest is open to all secondary students (public, private or homeschool) in the Eastern Townships region’s English-speaking community, who also meet the following criteria:

  • Attend an English language secondary school in the historical Eastern Townships, or if homeschooled, their education was predominantly in English;
  • Graduating in the current school year;
  • Accepted* to a post-secondary institution (college/CÉGEP, vocational or technical training) in the Estrie.

*Please note winners will be required to provide proof of application before claiming their award.

Submit your entry for one of the two categories (written or video).

There are two parts to this challenge, both must be included in the essay:

Part 1) Tell us about your experience as a member of the region’s English-speaking community:

  • Did you overcome any obstacles on you path to graduation? Discover anything about yourself and your abilities along the way?  Discover anything interesting about the region that makes you want to learn more?

Part 2) Tell us about how you see your future in the region:

  • Where will you continue your studies? What program have you signed up for? How do you see yourself in that career field, five years from now, living and working in the Townships?

Written essays

  • Minimum of 500 words to a maximum of 600 words, have a title, include the word count.
  • Entries must be typed using an 11 or 12-point Times New Roman or an equivalent font.
  • Entries must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.

Video essays

  • Entry must not exceed three minutes in length.
  • Video can be shot using any kind of equipment provided the orientation is landscape/horizontal
  • Entries must be submitted via Google Drive or YouTube link

All submissions must be original work.  Each essay must be submitted along with a completed entry form  to paj@townshippers.org with “Excel in the Estrie entry” in the subject line.

Submission that do not meet the requirements or that are received after the deadline will not be considered.

If you have questions or problems submitting your essay, contact Beth Vanasse at 819-566-5717 (toll-free 1-877-566-5717), paj@townshippers.org


Townshippers’ Association / Place aux jeunes Eastern Townships collects your information for the purpose of this contest. All entries become the property of Townshippers’ Association and will not be returned; you will be notified if your essay has been selected as winner. The names of winners will be announced via Townshippers’ Association’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, local newspaper columns and at its annual general assembly.

Entrants grant Townshippers’ Association and/ Place aux jeunes Eastern Townships permission to publish all or part of the submitted essay and to use the entrant’s name and photograph to publicize the winning entries, all without royalty or other consideration.



The cash prize is made possible each year through the generous support of partners: Canada, Quebec, Cass Funeral Homes, NAV Canada, Champlain Regional College, and Stanstead College.