The St. Photios National Shrine is proud to announce the theme for its annual essay contest, reflecting on the welcoming of immigrants to this nation. The St. Photios National Shrine commemorates the first Hellenic settlers to arrive in the New World, as well as celebrating the many immigrants to the United States and their experience in this nation.

Many of those immigrants came to America through Ellis Island in New York City and would have viewed the Statue of Liberty upon entering New York Harbor. There, at the pedestal of Lady Liberty, is memorialized a plaque with the poem “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus, with the most famous line reading, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Essay contest theme

In an essay, please discuss why or why not the lines from of the poem, “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus found at the Statue of Liberty in New York City are still relevant for our nation?

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Essay Contest Details

  • Participants must be ages 13-19
  • Maximum word count: 1,000
  • A single essay will be selected as the winner by a committee and will receive a $1,000 prize.
  • All participants will receive a certificate.
  • All essays become property of St. Photios Shrine and can be used for various publicity purposes, always with the byline of the author.
  • Submit essays NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 16, 2021 via email to Polexeni Maouris Hillier, Executive Director of St. Photios National Shrine at Winner will be announced Sunday, January 9, 2022.

Essay contest prize: $1,000

The St. Photios National Shrine 2021 Essay Contest
is made possible by the generosity of The Kathie D’Anna Charitable Fund.