The Shanti Prize in Humor and Optimism

In honor of its namesake, Shanti Jani, this is an essay contest designed to encourage students to seek out optimism and solutions as a first step in changing the world around them.

High school and college students may submit an essay about a global, community, or personal issue and then write a humorous angle or an optimistic solution about this problem.

The first prize is $500 for college students and $250 for high school students. All entries must be submitted via e-mail to (or alternatively, with a Lisa Frank sticker on pink paper to the Global Health Linkages, Inc. mailing address for consideration).

In the spirit of Shanti Jani, we encourage winners to spend the prize money on textbooks or a Neiman Marcus handbag, just as Shanti would have. Much like Shanti’s own contributions to the people she loved, we hope this small endeavor will be a great impact on the world.