Calling All School-Aged Illinoisans!



To participate, Illinois schoolkids write on the topic:

‘What My Father or an Important Father-Figure Means to Me’

The next contest starts in January 2024.


A look at 2023


Pre/K– Elany Bueno, Rachel Carson

1st Grade – Cameron Mackinson, St. Mary’s

2nd Grade – Zach Zintak, Arbury Hills 

3rd Grade – Isabella Godinez, Columbia Exp. 

4th Grade – Jayleen Saldivar, Richard Edwards

5th Grade – Emiliano Toledo Rizo, Rachel Carson

6th Grade – Zari Conway, Rachel Carson

7th Grade – Javier Leon Torres, Columbia Explorers

8th Grade – Dylan Palos Castillo, Richard Edwards 

9th Grade – Nya  Aldridge, De La Salle Institute

10th Grade – Michelle Guevara, Mundelein HS

11th Grade – Alioune Mbaye, De La Salle Inst.

12th Grade – Mia Hodge, De La Salle Institute


Jorge Bueno,  Father of the Year

Matt Mackinson, Father of the Year

James Zintak, Father of the Year

Jeronimo Arce, Uncle of the Year

Ruben Santoyo, Uncle of the Year

Francisco Toledo Rizo, Brother of the Year             

Ezra Conway, Father of the Year

Javier Leon Hernandez, Father of the Year

Alejandro Palos, Father of the Year

DuWayne Portis Sr., Father-figure of the Year                       

Francisco Guevara, Father of the Year   

Malick Mbaye, Father of the Year          

Stephen Hodge, Father of the Year


Congratulations to all Essayists!!!



Our 300+ Volunteers read every single essay at least twice and have made selections.

IL Fatherhood Initiative

"Engaging Fathers in the Lives of Their Children"
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