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The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 1, 2024
This year, AFSA celebrates the 100th anniversary of the United States Foreign Service. Over the last century, our diplomats and development professionals have been involved in groundbreaking events in history – decisions on war and peace, supporting human rights and freedom, creating joint prosperity, reacting to natural disasters and pandemics and much more. As AFSA looks back on this century-long history, we invite you to join us in also looking ahead to the future. This year students are asked to explore how diplomats can continue to evolve their craft to meet the needs of an ever-changing world that brings fresh challenges and opportunities to the global community and America’s place in it.
Over the past 100 years the Foreign Service has faced a multitude of challenges such as world war, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, humanitarian disasters, global pandemics, and economic crises. In a 1,000-1,500-word essay please identify what you believe will be the biggest challenge to face the Foreign Service in the future. The essay will describe this challenge and clearly define how American diplomats can help mitigate it.
Successful essays will use past or current diplomatic efforts to support what you believe to be the best course of action to tackle this obstacle.
AFSA collects your information for this contest and for AFSA partners. You may be signed up to receive updates or information from AFSA and our partners. You will receive confirmation from AFSA that your submission has been received and a notification if you are the winner or an honorable mention in June. You may also receive a message from our sponsor regarding their program offerings.
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 AFSA, NLSC 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, and 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
The Fund for American Diplomacy is AFSA's 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports AFSA’s outreach goals. AFSA National High School Essay contest is AFSA’s main outreach initiative to high school students. We appreciate your willingness to contribute. Rest assured that your contribution will be put to good use. Donations to the FAD are fully tax deductible.