Connect Hampton Roads Essay Contest

Hampton Roads Transit is sponsoring a contest for Connect Hampton Roads. It’s an essay contest for local high school and college students.

Winners will receive a new Apple iPad.

So how’s it work?

The topic is transportation, naturally. We’re asking participants to think creatively about the kind of multimodal transportation network they’d like to see in the future.

We’re looking for a vision of how millennials envision the transportation network in Hampton Roads 2040. Why are we doing this? Studies show that over 50% of millennials want to live, work and play within close proximity to one another. In 1990, the Federal Highway Administration conducted a survey that found that only 41 percent of 16 year olds, 70 percent of 17 year olds, and 77 percent of 18 year olds were licensed drivers. The trend of teens obtaining drivers license has declined, in a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, only 44% of teens applied to obtain their drivers license within the first year of eligibility and only 54% at the age of 18.

Here’s what you need to do.

All entries must be received by April 14, 2016. They can be sent to Hampton Roads Transit at 3400 Victoria Blvd., Hampton, VA 23661 or 509 E. 18th St. Building 4, Norfolk, VA 23504 or via e-mail to

Full entry details can be found at For more information, contact Joe Dillard Jr. at or (757) 222-6000 ext. 6349. The Apple iPads will be awarded to the winning students in person at the Tidewater District Commission’s Board meeting on May 26, 2016.

Who Can Enter?

Local high school and college students in Hampton Roads Transit’s service area may participate. This includes students attending school in Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

High School Requirements

  • All High School Essays must be at least 500 words.
  • Each grade level will be judged within the same class their respective peers. (9th grade students would compete with 9th graders only; 10th grade students would compete with 10th graders only; 11th grade students would compete with 11th graders only; 12th grade students would compete with 12th graders only)
  • All Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or greater. (All transcripts must be mailed in with essay.)
  • Students must list the name of a sponsoring teacher from the school in which you would submit on your essay. (If you are submitting an essay from Granby High School, your sponsoring teacher must be from Granby High School.)

Download High School Application Form

College Requirements

  • All College Essays must be at least 1,000 words.
  • There will be NO separation of classes (Freshman will compete with Seniors.)
  • All Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater. (All transcripts must be mailed in with essay.)
  • Students must list the name of current department head and or advisor from the university/college in which you would submit on your essay. (If you are submitting an essay from Norfolk State University, your sponsoring professor/advisor must be from Norfolk State University.)

Download College Application Form


  • Only one entry per student is allowed.
  • By entering, participants agree that HRT can reproduce and display the work submitted.
  • No entry fees are required and no fees will be paid to participants.
  • All entries become the property of Hampton Roads Transit and may not be returned.
  • A complete and clearly written or typed entry form must accompany the submission. The entry form must include parent/legal guardian signature for high school students and signature of participants for the college students. An official entry form can be obtained online at or in person at 509 E. 18th St., Norfolk, VA 23504
  • Each essay must also have the school name, accompanied with the name, age, address and phone number of the participant clearly printed on the back of the essay.
  • Entries must be delivered in person or mailed with postmark by 5:00pm (EST), April, 14, 2016. Deliver or mail entries to: HRT, Attn: Joe Dillard Jr, 509 E. 18th St., Norfolk, VA 23504. For schools, teachers may contact Joe Dillard at (757) 222-6000 ext. 6349 or to schedule a time when essays may be picked up.


The deadline for all essays (both college and high school) will not be accepted with any postage dated after April 14, 2016.


Students will receive one new Apple iPad.


Applicants will be judged based on whether they…

  • Are creative in their approach to address the need of multimodal options for the future of Greater Hampton Roads.
  • Are passionate and committed to empowering the community in which they live.
  • Are confident and enthusiastic about being a future leader of tomorrow.