Annual Report 2014 | American Foreign Service Association
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24

Scholarships & Youth:

Looking to the Next Generation

2014 Scholarship Program

S

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

aid package.

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.