Deadline For Submissions: March 22nd

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About The Program

Young Scholars of Baltimore City and County, it’s time to power up for Lyric Baltimore’s 2024 Dream Big Contest! We are looking for students in grades 5th-12th who live in Baltimore City and Baltimore County to answer this big question: “What Will It Take for Us All to Be Free?”

Just like Dr. Martin Luther King, we want you to envision a world where freedom is not merely a dream but a vibrant reality for everyone. We encourage you to explore what freedom means to you and your community, and we want to know how your vision can be shared with the world.

All around the globe, youth advocates have reshaped their schools, families, and communities; now it’s your turn! You can respond to this question with an essay, poetry, video, or piece of visual art.

The top 16 Dream Big finalists will receive a laptop and cash prizes and the top 8 finalists will share their work on the Lyric’s historic stage and be part of the television show produced by WBAL-TV.
Essay

Essay

Answer "What Will it Take for Us All to Be Free”

By writing a thoughtful essay that clearly states your pathway to freedom! –(Yours)

Poem

Poem

Answer "What Will it Take for Us All to Be Free”
By composing verses or poetry that rhythmically expresses your freedom song!

Video

Video

Answer "What Will it Take for Us All to Be Free”

By using the art of film to create content that illustrates your dream of a world unshackled!

Visual Art

Visual Art

Answer "What Will it Take for Us All to Be Free”

By crafting visual art that showcases the vibrant colors of your vision for a world that’s truly free!

Mark Your Freedom Calendars:

Contest Opens

January 15th, 2024
Unleash your creativity as the submission portal swings wide open!

Contest Ends

March 22nd, 2024
The ultimate showdown - submit your dream before the deadline and let the spirit of freedom soar! Sorry, we can’t accept late submissions.

Top Finalists announced

April 3rd, 2024
The drumroll begins - discover if your Dream Big inspirations have made you a freedom champion as finalists are announced!

Dream Big Celebration at Lyric Baltimore

April 17th, 2024
Fly, swing, or teleport to Lyric Baltimore for the Dream Big Celebration at 7 pm!

Dream Big Celebration airs on WBAL-TV 11

June 19th, 2024
See yourself on the small screen as the Dream Big Celebration airs on WBAL-TV 11 at 7:00 pm!

Scoring Criteria



Submissions are evaluated on a 5-point scoring range:
5 being the best score.

Score 1 and 2: Off to a start!
Excessive grammatical errors and typos; not clearly expressing your dream of freedom, and not following the contest instructions.

A Note About Grammar: Your story matters! We understand that every young mind has a unique journey, so don't shy away from sharing your incredible experiences! But please be sure to proofread and have your work revised by a trusted teacher or mentor.

Score 3: Getting Closer!
You have expressed your vision for freedom, but it still needs clarity; some grammar errors and typos; doesn’t explain or illustrate how your vision for freedom will help your community; doesn’t have enough creativity or originality; and follows some of the contest instructions.

Score 4: Almost There!
Few grammatical errors or typos; follows most or all contest instructions; has creativity and originality; clearly expresses your vision of freedom and expresses how your vision will help others.

Score 5: Ascend to dreamer status!
No grammar errors or typos; you make us feel your dream; you have expressed your vision uniquely and creatively and have followed all contest instructions.

MEET OUR SPONSORS

Contemporary Freedom Advocates

Chelsea Miller
Chelsea Miller
May be young, but she has already established herself as a leader in the world of activism. Miller served as one of Barack Obama’s youngest interns working on domestic policy issues such as criminal justice reform. She started her own nonprofit called Women Everywhere Believe with the goal of empowering and creating opportunities for women and girls of color to become leaders. In addition to all of this, she co-founded Freedom March NYC which is one of the largest youth-led civil rights organizations in New York! Her work is helping to change the lives of millions of Americans as she activates changemakers and advocates for policy reform.
Jerome Foster
Jerome Foster
is making a name for himself as a climate activist! He founded a youth media website called The Climate Reporter, he’s the executive director of youth voting advocacy group, One Million of Us, and the youngest member of the White House’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Despite all these incredible achievements, Foster says that’s not what he really wants. He says, “I wanted to do astrophysics and coding. But there's no future to plan for when you're seeing the climate get worse, and nothing's being done.” Foster knows that climate inaction is necessary, so he is acting and calling on other young people to join him!
Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg
Greta's passionate fight against climate change has inspired millions. Her relentless pursuit of a sustainable future reflects a commitment to freeing the planet from the shackles of environmental degradation.
Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai
Malala's unwavering commitment to education for all, especially girls, is a beacon of hope. Her courageous advocacy aims to liberate individuals from the constraints of limited educational opportunities, empowering them to pursue their dreams freely.

Enter the Lyric Baltimore’s Dream Big Contest for a chance to win $500 and a new laptop.