This I Believe Illinois

Weekdays at 7:45 a.m., 4:45 p.m., annually each February

This I Believe Illinois is our annual essay program for Illinois high school seniors. An expression of where their minds are as they prepare to enter the adult world. 

Starting as a five minute radio program hosted by Edward R. Murrow in 1951, This I Believe gave contributors the chance to write a short essay articulating what they believe. Since then, the idea has been adopted by NPR Illinois. 

2020 will be the 14th class to share what they believe with NPR Illinois!

Writing Guidelines 
I
mportant Dates and Deadlines

The State Journal-Register supports this effort by printing the selected essays in the newspaper.

Credit CREDIT ROTARY CLUB OF SPRINGFIELD SUNRISE

NPR Illinois airs the essays in their authors' voices and the audio is streamed below. In 2007, the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, partnered with NPR Illinois to sponsor This I Believe Illinois. 

This year, selected authors must attend the culminating event at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Musuem. Selected authors will recite their essays and receive their award.

Please see Writing Guidelines for an updated list of rules and regulations for this years essay program.

Selected Authors

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

  • Lauren Ross - Rochester HS- I Believe Strength Comes from Friendship
  • Sarah Brunson - Springfield HS - Religious Tolerance Could Bring Peace 
  • Michael DeFraties - Springfield HS - Slander as Entertainment 
  • Diandra Wilson, Southeast HS - I Believe in Vanity
  • Libby Morse - Springfield HS - The Joy a Photograph Brings 
  • Nick Murphy - Southeast HS - Taking Things for Granted
  • Caitlyn Barnes - Southeast HS - Hypocrisy of Our Education System
  • Sam Schoenburg - Springfield HS - I Believe in Family
  • Krista Walbert - Southeast HS - Inspiration in Any Situation
  • McKenna Blair - Lanphier HS - You Do Not Have to Be an Adult to Make a Difference

This I Believe: The Real Me

Feb 18, 2014
Katherine Bowman
Dan LoGrasso / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

I don’t choose to wear makeup. Some people may look at me with disdain, and others wonder why I opt out of such a common practice. I see girls around me with perfect faces, unable to tell that they are covered with the cloudy foundation, and with their eyes painted just right so that I find it easy to look and hard to look away. But I myself find no yearning to be “beautiful,” or to look “flawless” simply so that others may be more visually attracted to me.

This I Believe: In Childhood

Mar 16, 2009
Anthony Cohen headshot
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Perhaps you have heard the saying “everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten”.  I believe that that is true. All of the traits that can make us better, more worthwhile people can be rediscovered by following the examples of children. In short, I believe in the simple purity and boundlessness of childhood, where tolerance, hope and excitement for life come naturally.  

This I Believe: A Koala Bear

Jan 29, 2007
Lauren Ross in the studio
NPR Illinois

I barely remember yet I remember so vividly, I was on 5 years old. Excited about approaching kindergarten: I couldn't wait to ride the bus, go to the cafeteria, play on the playground and make new friends. I was an unstoppable bundle of energy waiting for my first day of school. Sleep the night before the before the class listing was posted on the school door was impossible. I had shopped for all my supplies and they were ready to occupy my desk on the very first day. However, my life changed drastically and sadly I never arrived on the first official first day of school.

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