French for the Future announces the winners of the 98 scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, of the National Essay Contest. The pan-Canadian competition rewards high school students in two categories: French as a Second Language (FSL) and French as a First Language (FLM). The scholarships encourage young people to continue their post-secondary studies in French, either fully or partially.

The winners, whose essays demonstrated creativity, eloquence, and originality, were awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, which will help them pursue higher education in French at one of the 15 post-secondary institutions partnered with the contest.

For many of the participants, this opportunity to write in French is rare and highly appreciated. It allows them to challenge themselves, improve their French, and increase their sense of self-efficacy in the language.

“I’m so grateful and delighted to have been selected for this scholarship. Thanks to it, I have the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education in French, which is important to me since, up until now, I have done all my studies in French and I aspire to continue on this path; it’s important to me as a Franco-Ontarian.” Stella Bégin, winner of a $12,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa.

This year’s theme

With the Olympic Games scheduled to take place on Francophone soil this year, the theme seemed an obvious one. How do youconvince the 2024 Olympic Committee that your “incredible talent” should be selected as a new Olympic discipline?” That’s what nearly 450 young contestants reflected on in their entries.

“With the nature of the theme, we were anticipating imaginative proposals,” says Geneviève Gobeil, Program Manager at French for the Future. “Even with that expectation, we were surprised by the creativity of the submissions! With each new essay we received, we wondered: what will the discipline proposed be this time?”

Artificial Intelligence

A new concern this year is how to determine which essays have merit in the age of artificial intelligence. During the evaluation process, essays are reviewed by 4 different jury members. This year, they were invited to point out compositions they thought might have been written by artificial intelligence. The identified essays were then sent to the student’s teacher to check whether the essay corresponded to their usual level.

“It’s important to remember that the National Essay Contest is about winning admissions scholarships, not cash prizes. Winners have their scholarships deducted from their tuition fees when they enroll at university in a given program partially or completely in French. So it’s not in their interest to disguise their level of French, if they intend to study in that language,” points out French for the Future Executive Director Emeline Leurent. “Taking part in the competition allows them to challenge their own abilities and gain confidence in their French.” 

Discover the winners!