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
Financial Aid and Award Money:
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.
Link for More Information:
Contact Perri Green, AFSA’s Awards Coordinator, at green-at-afsa.org with questions.
This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.
*This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
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For further inquiries concerning the International Essay Contest for Young People, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Goi Peace Foundation
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc.
FELISSIMO CORPORATION, SEIKO HOLDINGS CORPORATION
Essay Contest 2018 Flyer (PDF)
Past Winning Essays
Q1Are there any exceptions to the age limit for participating in the contest?
A1No, you must be 25 years old or younger as of June 15, 2018, which is the entry deadline date. That means you must be born after June 15, 1993. On the other hand, there is no minimum age requirement.
Q2Is there a fee for participating in this contest?
A2No, participation is free of charge.
Q3Do I have to be Japanese or Asian to join the contest?
A3A3: No, all nationalities can participate from anywhere in the world.
Q4My essay is a little over 700 words. Is it acceptable?
A4No, essays must be 700 words or less in order to qualify. However, the cover page and essay title are excluded from the word count. There is no minimum word count.
Q5Are the title and cover page included in the word count limit?
A5No, the 700 word count limit is for the body of the essay only.
Q6Do I need a cover page for my essay submitted online?
A6No, a cover page is only required for entries submitted by postal mail. For online entries, all required information is submitted through the registration form, and therefore, you do not need to include a cover page in your essay file.
Q7Can I give any title to my essay?
A7Yes, you can give your essay an original title as long as the content is in line with the theme.
Q8Is there a specific format for the essay (font style, size, line space, etc.)?
A8There are no particular rules regarding formatting. However, your essay file should be submitted in either MS Word(DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.
Q9Can I quote from books or websites? If so, where should I write the reference?
A9If you use quotations, please include the reference at the bottom of the essay. The reference should not be included in the word count.
Q10Can I add photos, images, or my biography to my essay?
A10No. Please send your essay only.
Q11Can I submit my essay via email?
A11No, we do not accept entries by email. Please submit your essay either by postal mail or through the online registration page: http://goipeace-essaycontest.org/* This link will be activated soon.
Q12Can I submit a hand-written essay?
A12Yes, we accept hand-written essays. You can either send it by postal mail or submit a scanned PDF copy through the online registration page: http://goipeace-essaycontest.org/* This link will be activated soon.
Q13Can I submit more than one essay?
A13Yes, you can submit more than one essay as long as the contents are different. They can also be written in different languages. Please use the same account to submit multiple essays online.
Q14Can I submit my essay in my native language?
A14Essays are accepted in English, French, Spanish, German or Japanese only, since these are the only languages the contest organizers and judges can read. However, we can accept essays written in other languages, if they are accompanied by translations in one of the accepted languages.
Q15Can we co-write and submit one essay as a team?
A15No. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.