Sen. Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point is encouraging young women of Minnesota to apply for a scholarship and an opportunity to meet elected women from across the country.

The National Foundation for Women Legislators and the National Rifle Association are co-sponsoring the 20th Annual NFWL/NRA Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest for college-bound female high school juniors and seniors.

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The contest is open to high school junior and senior girls in the classes of 2017 and 2018 from around the country. Applicants are required to write a 400-600 word essay on one of three topics, allowing applicants to address a wide array of pertinent constitutional issues regarding women.

In addition to the essay, applicants must complete the application form and obtain two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an elected woman in their state. The contest's six winners will each receive a $3,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses- paid trip to the NFWL annual conference Nov. 14-18 in Minneapolis, where they will connect with hundreds of women lawmakers from across the United States.

"Young women are the future of the NFWL," Ruud said in a news release. "They will eventually grow up to empower and inspire women across our nation and become the leaders who will shape America's future."

Entries must be received via the online application portal no later than 4 p.m. July 10, after which an NFWL selection committee will judge each essay and determine the six winners. The judges will primarily consider their understanding of the Constitution with original insight.