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The annual “If I Were Mayor” essay contest asks students to reimagine their communities each year. Now, we’ve all found ourselves having to do just that: reimagine our time and resources to offer what’s most needed in a time of uncertainty. This contest aims to keep students involved and learning by piquing their curiosity about the government that’s closest to the people.

The Iowa League of Cities promotes this essay contest to 7th-grade English and Social Studies teachers each fall and asks mayors to contact these teachers locally, too.

The statewide winner, Abi Hemesath, with Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg holding award

The statewide winner, Abi Hemesath, with Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg.

College Scholarships for Iowa 7th Graders

The League is now accepting submissions for the annual “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest sponsored by Snyder & Associates. Promoting positive city government is essential to the Iowa League of Cities and our firm. This contest is an opportunity for students to articulate their views on the role of a mayor and its impact on their community.

Snyder & Associates has sponsored the contest since 2015 and is proud to continue the tradition again this year. “As municipal engineers, we work with city officials daily and have developed a strong appreciation for how they help shape livable communities,” states Snyder & Associates President Dave Moeller, P.E. “Encouraging today’s youth to reflect on the role that a city mayor has in listening to constituents and guiding community improvements is important because they’re our future leaders.”

A winning essay will be selected in each of the state’s four congressional districts. Each district winner receives a $250 college scholarship, and one grand prize winner selected to represent the State of Iowa will receive a $500 college scholarship. 2024’s winning contestants, Amelia Eapen, Bristol Miller, Abi Hemesath, Mirabel Abraham, along with their parents and teachers, were recognized at a special ceremony at the state capitol.

“If I Were Mayor” Contest Requirements

2024’s “If I Were Mayor” winning contestants, Amelia Eapen, Bristol Miller, Abi Hemesath, Mirabel Abraham discuss their essays with Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg.

The contest is open to all currently enrolled 7th-grade students in Iowa. Essays must begin with “If I were mayor, I would…” and should not exceed 250 words. Essays are judged based on creativity, clarity, sincerity of thought, and proper use of grammar.

All submissions are due in December of the prior year, and winners are notified once the judging process is complete. Additional information and a full list of contest rules are available online through the Iowa League of Cities.

In addition to this contest, Snyder & Associates also supports Brunch with the Boss, a competition organized by the Ankeny Economic Development Corporation. Also, many Snyder & Associates staff members are involved with the community, professional, and service-oriented organizations, including Engineers Across Borders, MathCounts, and APA Ambassadors.

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