Posted by: BPSOS | October 16, 2009

Boat People SOS Hosts “A Time to Write” Student Writing Contest To Celebrate Diversity and Citizenship

October 20, 2009 (HOUSTON, TX) — To highlight the diversity of Houston and the city’s commitment to civic engagement, Boat People SOS (BPSOS) is partnering up with Mayor Bill White and sponsoring Houston’s First Annual Citizenship Week from November 16-20th, 2009. As an event to connect the city to its youth, BPSOS will be hosting “A Time to Write,” a citywide story contest that will be open to all students grades 4-12 in the Greater Houston Area.


The month-long event, which is expected to draw talented writers from Houston, Alief and various other Harris County school districts, will challenge students to respond to Joseph Campbell’s quote, “the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are,” by reflecting on what being a Houstonian means to them. The story contest will also provide an opportunity for the city to celebrate its diversity through the writings of its youngest residents and future leaders.

Applicants will be judged on their creativity and content. Nine finalists from the elementary, junior high and high school grade levels will be selected to share their stories at an awards ceremony to take place on Friday, November 20, 2009 from 7-9 PM in Southwest Houston. Community-sponsored prizes and awards will also be given to the finalists.

Download: Information and Application Packet  and Sponsorship Packet

The contest, which is open to all Houston-area students until Friday, November 13, 2009, is just one of many activities BPSOS participates in to enhance civic engagement. The organization has long provided services and advocacy to Houston’s immigrant and refugee communities, and hopes that its participation in the city’s first Citizenship Week will increase cultural awareness among the youth.

“Houston has long been heralded as a city of great diversity and global influence,” said Trish Nguyen, BPSOS-Houston Senior Branch Office Manager.

“We hope that the contest will not only connect Houston’s many communities together, but will also inspire students to think about what the city means to them.”

If you would like more information on the “A Time to Write” contest or would like to partner with BPSOS in the Houston 1st Annual Citizenship Week, please contact Amy Nguyen by phone 832-434-1830 or by email at


About BPSOS: Boat People SOS (BPSOS) is a national community-based organization. Since 1980, our mission has been to assist Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in their search for a life in liberty and dignity by empowering, equipping and organizing Vietnamese American communities in their progress toward self-sufficiency.


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