Scholarships & Youth:
Looking to the Next Generation
2014 Scholarship Program
ince its beginnings in 1926, AFSA’s scholarship program has
grown exponentially. This year it provided nearly a quarter of
a million dollars ($247,800) in merit awards and financial-need
scholarships to 82 children of AFSA members.
AFSA grants two kinds of awards. Academic and art merit
scholarships are awarded to high school seniors on the basis of ac-
ademic or artistic achievement. In 2014, 28 students were chosen
from 105 applicants for these awards, the top prizes being $2,500.
AFSA scholarships are not funded by any AFSA membership
dues. The program is funded by donations from individuals and
organizations, CFC pledges, contributions from the Scholarship
Fund’s Annual Appeal, and by a 5 percent annual withdrawal on
the average value over the last five years of the program’s endow-
ment (currently valued at $6 million).
The financial aid scholarship program bestows scholarships
on college undergraduates based on financial need. Individual
financial aid awards ranged from $3,000 to $5,000 in 2014, a
25-percent increase in award size over the previous year. Fifty-
four college students (chosen from 110 applications) received
these awards in 2014.
The financial aid scholarships can be “bundled,” so that larger
dollar awards can be granted to the neediest undergraduates. An
applicant can receive, for example, up to three scholarships in one
This year, the insurance company Embassy Risk Management
sponsored an academic merit award for the first time, and we hope
it will be renewed annually. This brings the total of
named merit awards, sponsored by individuals or
organizations, to nine.
The scholarship program could not exist without
the time and energy of our tireless volunteers. The
AFSA Scholarship Committee includes representa-
tives from all of the Foreign Service agencies except
BBG and APHIS, and we are striving to find inter-
ested individuals to volunteer from those constitu-
ent groups. In addition to the standing committee,
the scholarship program depends on volunteers
to judge the merit awards. In 2014, 24 volunteers
(both active-duty and retired AFSA members) each
gave at least 15 hours of their time, and the seven
AFSA Scholarship Committee members each gave
at least 25 hours of their time to serve as judges
in March and April to select the art and academic
merit award winners.
Scholarship and Youth Staff:
(from left) Scholarship Senior Associate Jonathan
Crawford, Scholarship Director Lori Dec, Special Awards and Outreach
Coordinator Perri Green.
2014 National High School Essay Contest winner Nitisha Baronia
meets with Secretary of State John Kerry, September 2014.