SOAR High School

Scholarships » March, 2018

March, 2018

 
Visit www.DirectingChangeCA.org for contest rules and educational resources.
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2018 Essay Topic and Guidelines

The United States has many tools to advance and defend its foreign policy and national security interests around the world—from diplomatic approaches pursued by members of the Foreign Service, to the range of options available to the U.S. military. In countries affected by or vulnerable to violent conflict, peacebuilding tools are important additions to the national security toolkit.

 

In such complex environments, cooperation across agencies and approaches is challenging, but it can also blend knowledge and skills in ways that strengthen the overall effort to establish a lasting peace. On the other hand, lack of coordination can lead to duplication of effort, inefficient use of limited resources and unintended consequences.

 

In a 1,000-1,250-word essay, identify two cases—one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful—where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict-affected country. Analyze and compare these two cases, addressing the following questions:

  • What relative strengths did members of the Foreign Service and military actors bring to the table? What peacebuilding tools were employed? Ultimately, what worked or did not work in each case?
  • How was each situation relevant to U.S. national security interests?
  • What lessons may be drawn from these experiences for the pursuit of U.S. foreign policy more broadly?
 

Eligibility: 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 the AFSA, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Semester at Sea and National Student Leadership Conference are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention designees are eligible to enter.

 

Prizes: $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. Runner-up receives $1,250 and a full tuition to attend a summer session of National Student Leadership Conference’s International Diplomacy program.

 

Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EDT, March 15, 2018

 

For additional information, contact Perri Green at (202) 719-9700 or essaycontest@afsa.org.

 

http://www.afsa.org/essay-contest 

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