USAID YouthLead #Reaching16 Essay Contest 2021

Calling all young changemakers to participate in the “YouthLead #Reaching16 Essay Contest” and join in advocating for peace, justice, and strong institutions! “Reaching 16” refers to Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aims to promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies. It also serves as a reference and commitment to ensuring youth reach the age of 16 and beyond by stabilizing communities. As a young changemaker,  #Reaching16 Essay Contest provides participants with a unique platform to share personal experience and creative voice with the world!


  • 16 winning essays from the submissions would be selected.
  • With the permission of the author, the winning essays will be published on and promoted via  YouthLead social media channels and newsletter. If published, only the author’s first name or a pseudonym would be used.



The participants should meet the following criteria-

  • Citizens of low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) as listed in the official site
  • Aged 18-35 and;
  • Members of YouthLead with a member profile that is at least 80 percent complete. Becoming a member of YouthLead is easy and free. All Entrants must be successfully registered on YouthLead. As registration may take several days to process, all registration requests must be submitted at least four business days prior to the end of the Entry Period to ensure timely approval for entering the contest.

Each essay should answer the following question:

  1. What are you or someone you know doing to ensure your community is #Reaching16 with peace, justice, and strong institutions?
  2. Each submission must have a title and cannot be longer than 800 words. While it is not mandatory, they highly encourage you to upload a photograph of yourself or the work being done in your community.
Eligible Regions: Low and middle-income countries