Page 57 - Foreign Service Journal - March 2013

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MARCH 2013
AFSA’s 14th annual high school essay contest culminated in
July with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s pre-
sentation of the frst-place prize to Natasha Madorsky of
Cleveland, Ohio. For the 2012 contest, AFSA welcomed two
generous sponsorships. Leading strategy and technology
consulting frm Booz Allen Hamilton served as the ofcial
underwriter of the contest, making possible a $2,500 prize
and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for Natasha
and her parents, Dr. Elizabeth Stern and Mr. Michael Mador-
sky. Her teacher and mentor, Margaret ‘Peggy’ Hull, accompa-
nied them to Washington.
Also new last year, the Institute for Shipboard Education’s
Semester at Sea program
is provid-
ing Natasha with an all-expense-paid educational voyage
aboard the shipboard campus, the
M.V. Explorer
. The Univer-
National High School Essay Contest
sity of Virginia sponsors the unique academic program, which
provides students with a college semester while traveling the
world for 100 days or more.
Honorable mention certifcates were awarded to 24 fnal-
ists for their excellent essays. Essays went through three
rounds of judging by a panel comprised of active and retired
Foreign Service ofcers, teachers and private sector volun-
This year the quality of the nearly 500 submissions was far
superior to what we have received over the past 13 years of
the contest. We feel that this can be attributed to the incen-
tive of the Semester at Sea voyage (worth close to $30,000),
the opportunity for the winner and his or her parents to come
to Washington, D.C., and meet the Secretary of State, and the
generous cash prize.
AFSA’s 2012 high school essay contest winner, Natasha Madorsky (center) with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is joined by (left to right) AFSA
President Susan Johnson, Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach Perri Green, AFSA intern Paul Carter, her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Stern, Institute for
Shipboard Education Vice President for Academic Afairs Robert Waters, her father Michael Madorsky, Mona El-Banna from Booz Allen Hamilton and her
teacher and mentor, Peggy Hull.