The deadline for submissions has passed. Winners will be notified in May; results will be posted in July. Thank you for your submissions.
2013 AFSA National High School Essay Contest Winner Kailee Pedersen and Secretary John Kerry with certificates from the American Foreign Service Association and Semester at Sea
AFSA's National High School Essay Contest is now in its sixteenth year, and remains one of the prime contests of its kind in the United States, with remarkable opportunities for young people interested in foreign affairs and the Foreign Service.
The Foreign Service celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2014, and this year's topic made use of that milestone by asking students to delve deep into America's diplomatic history. Click here to read more about the topic, which was particularly challenging this year as it required significant research skills and understanding of historical context.
The AFSA High School Essay Contest is an outreach initiative of the American Foreign Service Association. Established in 1999, the annual contest encourages students to think critically about a topic of global significance and the key role diplomacy plays in connecting people and ideas. In an era of rapid change, this contest is an opportunity for high school students to research international issues in the hopes of inspiring and empowering the next generation of diplomats and development professionals. Today's youth is essential in shaping the future of foreign relations and promoting a culture of peace and sustainability.
This year’s contest topic focused on diplomatic relations, with a remarkable series of prizes for the winning entry. In partnership with the Semester at Sea study abroad program, the 2014 winning essayist will receive a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State, and full tuition for a Semester at Sea voyage (once the student is enrolled at an accredited university). The runner-up will win a full scholarship to participate in the International Diplomacy program of the National Student Leadership Conference.
Eligibility: Must be a U.S citizen. "High school" refers to grades 9-12. Students whose parents are in the American Foreign Service are not eligible (click here to explore other scholarship opportunities).
For more information about AFSA's National High School Essay Contest, please contact Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach Perri Green at email@example.com or (202) 719-9700.
Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are 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 and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter.
$2,500 to the writer of the winning essay, in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the U.S. for the winner and his or her parents
An all-expense paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea
The winner's school also receives a donation of 10 copies of AFSA's
Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work