The goal of this project is to conduct a comprehensive, definitive mixed-methods evaluation of the Laws of Life Essay contest. Using research on “turning points” and expressive writing as a basis for the evaluation, we will interview participants from across the 25-year history of the Laws of Life contest in Franklin County, Tennessee, and compare them to a group of similar nonparticipants from the surrounding area. We will use structured surveys, in-depth interviews, and content analysis of available essays. We will determine whether there is an overall positive benefit to program participation in terms of (a) character development, (b) spiritual and emotional well-being and (c) ability to cope with adversities when they arise. We will also examine the developmental trajectory of these outcomes, including whether short-term outcomes differ from long-term outcomes and whether those participants who are now in middle adulthood reflect on the experience differently from more recent participants.