ISB Atlanta

Contest Overview

This essay contest is open to all middle and high school students in the state of Georgia. It is designed to assist students in thinking about their career goals and in articulating how they plan to achieve them.  

The Process

Students will select one of the 100 Influential Georgia Muslims* (influencer) ( as each of these Georgia Muslims has made significant contributions in diverse areas.  The student is to research one or more of these individuals that the student shares an area of interest with. The student will write an essay detailing how the person(s) researched can serve as an inspiration as the student thinks about his/her career goals. Students should select a teacher or in the case of a home-schooled student a parent or guardian who is responsible for instruction, to serve as sponsor. The role of the sponsor is to ensure the integrity of the essay.

 *100 Influential Georgia Muslims is an initiative of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB).  ISB is an educational 501(c)3 organization established in 2001 (


  • A synopsis of the research done on the potential inspirations
  • The basis for the selection
  • The challenges the inspiration overcame in making his/her contribution(s)
  • The student’s career and personal goals
  • Articulation of how an understanding the inspiration’s story will benefit the student
  • Steps the student will take next as a result of this exercise
  • Explanation of lessons learned


  • Contest submission new deadline is Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 5:00 pm
  • Length of essays:
    • Middle School -750 to 1,000 words
    • High School – 1,000 to 1,500 words
  • Essays must be in Times New Roman 12pt Font
  • Essays must be the original work of the student.

Essay Submission

Students have the choice of either submitting their essay online (preferred) or emailing their essay. All students must complete a submission form that includes the student and school information with their essay and a parent’s signature.  The form must be scanned and attached.

Sponsoring Teachers

  • All students must list the name of their sponsoring teacher on the registration form.
  • The role of a sponsoring teacher is to provide students with support and advice during the writing of their essay.
  • Sponsoring teacher is also asked to read the student’s essay to make suggestions for improvement before it is submitted to the essay contest. As part of the review process, the sponsoring teacher reviews the essay for syntax, grammatical, typographical and spelling errors and ensures the essay meets the contest requirements listed above.
  • All place winners and their sponsoring teacher, as representatives of their school, will be invited to receive awards at an awards ceremony.
  • A sponsoring teacher can be a former or a current teacher of the student, but must still be teaching at the same school as the essay participant.
  • In very few cases, we will make an exception if a student is unable to ask a teacher from their school to be the sponsoring teacher.
  • The parent or legal guardian responsible for the instruction of home-schooled students can serve as the sponsor.

For more information please read the Letter to Educator


Three winners from middle schools and three winners from high schools will receive a monetary prize.

1st place- $500

2nd place- $250

3rd place- $150 

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Winners and finalists will be notified by April 25, 2016.


A panel will judge all submissions on the following criteria:

  • Communicated ideas clearly
  • Well organized
  • Correct syntax, grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Written in compelling and original manner

The panel will blind judge the essays.


An essay is disqualified if:

  • It is not on the topic
  • It is submitted by email or on the website after March 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm
  • It is not the student’s original work

Contact Information

Email: (please put in Subject line “Making a D!fference Essay Contest”)


100 Georgia Muslims Book

The 100 Influential Georgia Muslims award honored men and women who have made an impact in their communities. This book contains photos and biographies of each of these outstanding leaders.


Reach out to explore how we can be of service to you.

(404) 632-3550

P.O Box 723426
      Atlanta, GA 31139


Mar#3 Mar#2 Mar#1 Feb Jan Dec Archive

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly updates.


I was very impressed with how the speaker handled the strong opinions from some of my student’s beliefs about Muslim women and how the culture influences their treatment.

College Professor