History of the Bradshaw Literary Award
The Civic Association established an essay competition open to high school senior boys during the HCA presidency of Robert Bradshaw (1920-1925). Mr. Bradshaw had a strong interest in the youth of the community and introduced the competition to encourage participation of young people in civic affairs. In 1931, the Civic Association paid tribute to its late past president by renaming the competition the Robert Bradshaw Memorial Essay Contest. Submissions to the contest were expanded in 2010 to allow for student recognition in both the visual and performing arts.
Today, we ask all HMHS seniors to give thoughtful consideration to a civic-related writing prompt developed by the HCA Education Committee with assistance from both the English and Social Studies departments at HMHS. Submissions are evaluated by members of the HCA Board of Governors and the winner is asked to present their essay at the HCA annual Town Dinner. The winning student is also presented with a $500 award scholarship on Senior Awards Night.
This year’s 2023 prompt:
In what ways does Haddonfield prepare you to mature into civic minded, engaged citizens ready to use your time, talents, and passion for the betterment of the community?
Past Bradshaw Literary Award Winners
Examples of past prompts:
- 1931 – Community Spirit in School and Town
- 1957 – My Philosophy of Life
- 1961 – Good Government is My Responsibility
- 1965 – What Improvements can be made in Haddonfield for the Teenager
- 1972 – A Citizen’s Responsibility to the Local Community
- 1977 – What Do You See as Problems Being Faced by Borough Officials and Citizens in 1987?
- 1983 – How Will the Computer Change Our Lives?
- 1985 – What is my Responsibility as A Concerned Citizen for the Solution to the Trash Disposal Problem at Home and In the World?
- 2020 – Voters across America, including some HMHS seniors, will cast their votes. There are many ways – apart from voting – that young people can be civically engaged. Describe how young people can get more involved in their community (as you choose to define community). Or, if you have been civically active within your community, describe that experience.
- 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused painful disruption to people’s lives all over the world, including our local community. During this time of crisis, we have made many sacrifices both personally and collectively to protect not only ourselves but our families, friends, neighbors and those most vulnerable. These challenging times have also brought us together in efforts to support each other and people outside of our community. Describe one example of how an individual or community organization sought to help another person or group cope with the consequences of the pandemic and explain the significance of their efforts. If you have been involved in something personally, please share your experience.
- 2022 – What you do in Haddonfield matters to the world. In what ways have your past experiences, interests and passions led you to engage in our community? What have you learned and how does our town, Haddonfield, benefit from your engagement?