The Harvard Book Prize is awarded to 5 outstanding students in the next-to-graduating class selected by the Executive Board of the Harvard Club of Ghana, based on academic excellence, exceptional personal qualities, significant contribution to school or community and a written response to an essay prompt. Each winner receives a personally inscribed copy of “The Harvard Book”, an anthology of essays written by Harvard alumni spanning three centuries.
Since 1910, the Harvard Book Prize has been an important way for Harvard Club members to help attract talented young people to Harvard and the opportunities in Cambridge. Harvard Book Prize books are presented annually in more than 1,900 high schools around the world and are made available through generous donations from individual Harvard Club members. Harvard Prize Books awe awarded without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or political beliefs. Through the Harvard Book Prize program, we at the Harvard Club of Ghana hope to raise the visibility of Harvard University among local secondary schools in Ghana, and to encourage outstanding students throughout Ghana to consider applying to Harvard
Mental health has become an important topic among health professionals and educationists with concerns about growing challenges in high schools. Below are some facts and comments related to the issue.
“According to the World Health Organization, mental health is about being able to cope with the normal stressors of life; to work productively and fruitfully; and to be able to make a contribution to your community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Globally, 75 percent of all mental illness cases can be found in low-income countries. Yet most African governments invest less than one percent of their health care budget in mental health.” – TED
“Half of all mental illness occurs before the age of 14, and 75% by the age of 24—highlighting the urgent need to create systemic approaches to the problem” - Child Mind Institute.
"Schools, colleges, and Universities are well placed as settings for improving mental health literacy because of the high-risk age groups they serve and their educational mission." Anthony F. Jorm notes three small studies that found that teaching high school students about mental health improved their attitudes toward treatment, increased willingness to seek help from a counselor and boosted their overall mental health literacy - Anthony F. Jorm, Mental Health Literacy (2011).
“Students are not taught any information about their mental wellbeing within school unless the school makes a special effort. This leads to poor awareness, which in turn leads to all sorts of problems. Not only do we not know about how to understand mental wellbeing, but as a result we might not seek help when we need it. On average, a young person with a mental health issue can wait up to ten years before getting the help that they need” – Centre for Mental Health.
“In this date in time, young people are in more peril than ever before. The media carries increasing stories about violence and trauma and it seems to be increasing on a daily basis. While the stories are often about adults, there are always children involved. The refugee population increases with countries being less willing to relocate them. Children are witnessing violence and disasters on a regular basis and can be affected by these events around them, with the consequences lasting a lifetime. A traumatic event can be anything from domestic abuse, neglect, floods, earthquakes, gun violence, war, physical assaults and accidents. Some trauma is common in a lifetime but young people who do not have support systems, years of increased resilience can be affected in ways that can last for months, years or a lifetime” –World Federation for Mental Health.
In 500 words or less, write a letter to the Head of your school, sharing your perspectives on mental health and outlining specific ideas that schools can implement to improve mental health for students.
The eligibility for the book prize is secondary students in their penultimate year (SHS 2 / 11th Grade / Lower 6th Form )
Please email the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Harvard Book Prize” no later than July 15, 2020.
The deadline is 15th July 2020