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National Special Districts Coalition Promotes High School Civics In Scholarship Contest

Austin – The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) is promoting a scholarship contest for high school students designed to encourage young people to engage with local government to enhance their civics education.

The scholarships are designed as awards for a student video contest operated through the coalition’s public awareness campaign “Districts Make The Difference.” The campaign originated with the California Special Districts Association and was expanded nationally by NSDC. This is the first year the scholarship video contest will include all 50 US states.

In Texas, the Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts ( is supporting the effort. “Special districts are an essential part of local government in Texas,” said SAFE-D Executive Director Cliff Avery. “Emergency services districts – ESDs – are just one type of district in Texas, but they provide fire protection and emergency medical services to a population greater than 41 states.”

High school students, grades 9-12 are asked to submit a short video (60 seconds or less) that provides a glimpse into the essential services provided by special districts in the United States. There are more than 30,000 special districts in the US, and they include a wide variety of services specific to their community’s needs.  Examples include some fire districts, water districts, mosquito abatement districts, recreation and park districts, cemetery districts and more.

The top three vote-winners will receive scholarship money of up to $2,000 based on their placement, as well as an additional $500 for their chosen teacher.

“We are proud to offer this opportunity to the nation’s high school students. It fosters an awareness of local government at a young age and encourages students to gain an understanding of the essential services special districts provide in their communities,” said NSDC Board Member Neil McCormick.

Students can visit the Districts Make the Difference website ( to watch past years’ video submissions and learn more about the guidelines for this year’s contest. Districts Make The Difference also provides promotion materials for high schools to encourage students to participate. The video submission window is February 1 – March 31, 2022 with winners announced before June 1. Visit for more information.

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