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UW, Partners Host Youth Contest to Share Vision for the State’s Future; Cash Prizes Available

October 5, 2021
artwork of mountains seen across a highway
UW and state agencies are sponsoring an “Imagining Wyoming’s Future: A Youth Vision for 2030” contest for a chance to win cash prizes. The deadline to enter is Oct. 17. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming and state agencies are collaborating on a contest for Wyoming youth to share their vision for the Cowboy State’s future, with an opportunity to win cash prizes up to $700.

The writing and multimedia narrative contest titled “Imagining Wyoming’s Future: A Youth Vision for 2030” is now open for submissions with a Tuesday, Nov. 30 deadline. Young people in Wyoming -- born on or after Jan. 1, 2001 -- are invited to share their visions. Participants are asked to imagine life in Wyoming in the year 2030.

UW’s Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources; Wyoming Humanities; Wyoming 2030; the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance; and the UW Creative Writing Program sponsor the contest.

Contest participants must share their vision of Wyoming in the year 2030 as a written essay or story; audio recording; short film; digital creation; artwork; or other narrative form. A panel of judges will review the submissions and award cash prizes to the most compelling entries.

“If all of your dreams for this state come true, what will that day look like? Be creative. Paint a picture of your ideal vision for your life in the state of Wyoming nine years from now,” says Emilene Ostlind, communications coordinator in the UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and one of the contest’s organizers. “Tell the story of what you wish for the future of Wyoming. Think about how you and your community fit within that future and what it will take to get there. Draw on your own experiences, values and imagination to respond to current challenges facing the state, and articulate your vision for Wyoming’s future.”

The purpose of this contest is to elevate young people’s voices in the discussion about Wyoming’s future direction. Winning entries will be published in an anthology and distributed to Wyoming communities and decision-makers.

UW researchers will use qualitative methods to analyze entries and identify themes, and will publish in an academic article. The goal is to help leaders and policymakers better understand what Wyoming’s next generation wants for the future.

For contest details and to submit a contest entry, visit www.uwyo.edu/haub/youth-vision.html.

For more information, email Matt Henry, assistant instructional professor in the UW Honors College, at mhenry12@uwyo.edu or Ostlind at emilene@uwyo.edu.

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