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American Foreign Service Association and ISE Award Student with Semester at Sea Voyage

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (middle) and ISE’s Luke Jones (far right) award AFSA essay contest winner Nitisha Baronia (middle right) with a Semester at Sea voyage.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has awarded its 2014 National High School Essay Contest to Nitisha Baronia. As part of this honor, Nitisha received a fully funded Semester at Sea voyage. Presenting the award to Nitisha was Luke Jones, Director of Corporate Engagement for the Institute for Shipboard Education along with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Baronia, a 2014 graduate of Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, California and a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the challenges and successes of the Marshall Plan in her AFSA essay. The essay outlines the plan’s implementation as well as its implications on a global scale. After having won and completed the contest, Nitisha said that she had not actually realized how big of a step the Marshall Plan was for the United States.

“Before researching for the essay contest, I never realized how big of an impact the Marshall Plan would have on US Foreign Relations from the post-WWII period to the present,” said Nitisha.

Nitisha’s award marks the 16th year of the AFSA National High School Essay Contest. The association strives to create opportunities for young students interested in foreign affairs and foreign service by asking students to critically analyze topics of global significance, with the winner receiving an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. to meet the Secretary of State along with a cash prize and a Semester at Sea voyage.

“Our partnership with AFSA furthers our goal as an organization to empower students to consider their impact on a global scale,” said Kenn Gaither, ISE President and CEO. “It is with great pleasure that we extend a voyage to the AFSA National High School Essay Contest winner—a student eager to engage with the global community.”

Learn more about the AFSA National High School Essay Contest and read Nitisha’s winning essay here.

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