Contests & Awards

California DAR Awards

American History Essay Contest

The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light.

This contest is open to students in public, private, and parochial schools, and registered home-study programs. Students in grades five through eight are encouraged to participate. Each year, a selected topic for use during the academic year is announced, and contest instructions are published online and sent to schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.

Christopher Columbus Essay Contest

DAR partnered with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in 1996 to sponsor an annual national essay contest in honor of Christopher Columbus.

The contest is open to students in grades nine through twelve. Each year the DAR and the NIAF agree upon a topic for use during the academic year, and contest instructions are published online and sent to the schools by participating DAR chapters.

Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Judging at the national level is supervised by the NIAF.

DAR Good Citizen

The DAR Good Citizens program and Scholarship Contest encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship. The program is open to all senior class students enrolled in accredited public or private secondary schools that are in good standing with their state boards of education. United States citizenship is not required.

The student selected as the school’s DAR Good Citizen must have the following qualities and will be awarded the DAR Good Citizenship medal:

  • Dependability (which includes truthfulness, loyalty, and punctuality);
  • Service (which includes cooperation, courtesy, and consideration of others);
  • Leadership (which includes personality, self-control, and ability to assume responsibility); and
  • Patriotism (which includes unselfish interest in family, school, community, and nation) to an outstanding degree.

ROTC/JROTC Awards

Gold and bronze ROTC medals are presented to outstanding high school and college cadets.

  • The DAR ROTC gold medal is awarded to a college or university graduate being commissioned in one of the U.S. armed forces.
  • The DAR ROTC bronze medal is awarded to not more than one student in a secondary school JROTC program, either a junior or a senior, or a junior college graduating senior. A graduating senior of a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Unit is eligible to receive the DAR ROTC bronze medal.