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Clinton and ISE VP Present Award to Essay Contest Winner

Left to right: Dr. Elizabeth Stern, Natasha’s mother; Robert Waters, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Institute for Shipboard Education (contest sponsor); Natasha Madorsky, 2012 AFSA Essay Contest winner; Michael Madorsky, Natasha’s father; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Margaret Hull, Natasha’s English teacher and mentor. Photo courtesy of Donna Ayerst, AFSA.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has announced its 2012 National High School Essay Contest winner. Natasha Madorsky, a rising 12th grader from Cleveland, Ohio, received first place for her winning essay about the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Her prize includes a $2,500 award and a full voyage scholarship from the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) and Semester at Sea program, one of the contest’s sponsors. On July 26, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ISE Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Waters were among those who presented Madorsky with her award during a special ceremony at the U.S. State Department.

“Gaining a global perspective—that is, a worldview that acknowledges a degree of interconnectedness and intercultural awareness within and among societies—is imperative,” said ISE/SAS President Les McCabe. “The agreement between AFSA and the Institute for Shipboard Education can highlight the relevance of all international education and study abroad programs, and increase awareness of the importance of a multi-country, global-comparative education.”

AFSA’s first contest was held in 1999, with the purpose of stimulating interest among high school students in the U.S. Foreign Service, diplomacy and foreign affairs. It is hoped that many of the contest participants will apply for the Foreign Service or other U.S.-sponsored international careers. Contestants were required to select an essay topic from a list of current U.S. international relations issues in specific countries. More than 500 students submitted essays. All winners are listed on the AFSA website at www.afsa.org/essaycontest. Booz Allen Hamilton was also a contest sponsor.

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