The 2017 National High School Essay Contest has begun! This is the 19th year of this prestigious contest, which encourages high school students to think about important international issues and learn about one of America’s best kept secrets: The United States Foreign Service. The contest challenges students to imagine themselves as a member of the Foreign Service posted to one of four countries that are directly affected by this crisis and to propose solutions. The winner receives $2,500, a trip to Washington, D.C. and the runner-up receives $1,250 and full tuition for the NSLC’s International Diplomacy summer program.
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), established in 1924, is the professional association and labor union of the United States Foreign Service.
- AFSA’s 2017 National High School Essay Contest is open to students in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas.
- Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.
- Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA, the U.S. Institute of Peace, National Student Leadership Conference and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter.
How to Apply
For applying the contest, the candidates are required to submit an essay. A qualifying memo will be 1,000-1,250 words and will answer the following questions:
- How does the crisis challenge U.S. interests in the country you are posted and more broadly?
- Specifically, outline the steps you propose the U.S. should take to tackle the roots or the consequences of the crisis and explain how it would help solve the issue or issues you are examining. How will your efforts help build peace or enhance stability?
- How do you propose to foster U.S. interagency cooperation and cooperation with the host-country government to address these issues? Consider in your memo, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Foreign Commercial Service, and the U.S. Institute of Peace, as well as the selected country’s government.
You can submit your essay through the given link: http://www.afsa.org/essay-contest-form
The winner receives $2,500, a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State, and full tuition for a Semester at Sea educational voyage. The runner-up receives $1,250 and full tuition for the NSLC’s International Diplomacy summer program.
Application deadline is March 15, 2017.
Contact Perri Green, AFSA’s Awards Coordinator, at green-at-afsa.org with questions.