Last spring, Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful partnered together in a pilot project aimed at engaging high school students on the topic community design and placemaking. The City Beautiful essay contest, open to all high school juniors and seniors in Flint and Cheboygan, asked students to think and respond to the question, “Does the appearance of your city matter?” The thoughtful responses we received demonstrated community development, historic preservation, downtown marketing, and scenic beautification efforts aren’t lost on today’s youth. Dileona Stokes and Cameron Conover, two students attending Flint Powers Catholic High School, were selected as the 2018 contest winners. The students received a cash prize of $500 from Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful, as well as recognition by the City of Flint at the June 11th Flint City Council meeting. Although the Scenic Michigan board has decided not to continue with the essay contest in 2019 due to lack of participation from the invited public schools, the project sparked the board’s interest in looking for other opportunities to continue working with Keep Michigan Beautiful and pursue other partnership-based programs across the state.