2019 High School Senior Essay Competition

The application deadline for 2019 has passed

Once again, we are offering area high school seniors a chance at $10,000 in educational scholarships. Our essay competition engages and challenges students from Marinette and Menominee Counties to learn and write about mining-related topics. Over the years, we’ve awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships to area students.

2019 Theme

What role do minerals play in our national defense?


Mining for Tomorrow Scholarship – Eight (8) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students with the highest ranked essays.

Clifford D. Nelson Memorial Scholarship – One (1) $2,000 scholarship is available for a student that will be attending Michigan Technological University and majoring in a mining-related field, including Applied Geophysics, Geology, Geological Engineering, Mining, and Mining Engineering.


  • Submissions must be a minimum of 500 words and may not exceed 1,000 words
  • Only one essay per student may be submitted
  • All submissions must be typed
  • Documentation of sources is required
  • Students must attach their submission in Word or PDF format


To qualify for the scholarship, students must be graduating from high school in Marinette or Menominee Counties in 2019. Home-schooled students are eligible to participate. Applicants must provide proof of admission in an undergraduate college or vocational program in 2019.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria include writing style, content, grammar, originality, clarity, conciseness, articulation, and organization.

Submission Instructions

  • Entries should be completed online at backfortymine.com/essaycontest2019
  • Mailed submissions must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on April 15, 2019
  • Address essays submitted by U.S. mail to:
    • Back Forty Mine, Attn: Essay Competition, E807 Gerue St., Stephenson, MI 49887
  • Back Forty Mine is not responsible for lost or delayed mail or emails

Scholarship Awards and Announcement of Winners

Each student who submits a winning essay will receive an educational scholarship. There will be nine scholarships available — for a total of $10,000 in scholarship awards. The selected essay winners will be contacted directly by Back Forty Mine. A formal announcement of winners will take place during the senior awards assembly at their high school.

If you have any questions, please call (906) 753-9602 or email info@backfortymine.com.


STEPHENSON, Mich. July 16, 2018 – Aquila Resources is hiring for a Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Back Forty Mine in Stephenson, MI. A complete role description can be found here.


Recently, Aquila’s Director of Social Performance and Engagement Chantae Lessard spoke with Tails & Trails Outdoors Executive Producer Tim Kobasic about the Back Forty Mine. Tim’s weekly program discusses events and topics of importance to outdoor enthusiast in the Upper Great Lakes region. In this episode, they talk a range of points about the mine as it relates to the area, including environmental protection, economic impact, aesthetics, advancement of mining practices, and more.

Listen to the two-part interview, which we hope is one of many to come.

Part OnePart Two


2018 Mining for Tomorrow Essay Competition

Calling all high school seniors!

Back Forty Mine is pleased to announce the 2018 Mining for Tomorrow Essay Competition.

This contest engages and challenges high school students to learn and write about mining related topics. Don’t miss your chance to compete for $10,000 in educational scholarships.

For complete details, click here.