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2018 Essay Contest

The annual FSYF Essay Contest challenges U.S. Foreign Service youth to answer a topic question in 1,000 words or fewer. In 2018 the Middle School and High School topic is the same:

2018 Essay Contest Topic (High School and Middle School):

In the spirit of "The History of the World in 100 Objects," select three objects that are important to your life as a Foreign Service youth.  Describe them and explain their significance."

Award Details

Six winners (3 Middle School youth and 3 High School youth) receive generous cash prizes made possible by McGrath Real Estate Services. All winners will be honored at the Youth Awards Ceremony at the Department of State in July 2018.

Contest Eligibility

All FSYF contests are open to children of U.S. Foreign Affairs agency officials who are eligible for overseas assignment and who report to the Chief of Mission when at post.  Entry is free to FSYF members.  

If you are not a member of FSYF (and do not wish to join at this time) you can still enter the FSYF contests by paying an entry fee of $20 per person, per contest (only one entry can be submitted for each contest).  

The contest is open to FS youth living both domestically and at overseas posts.  The children of FSYF Board and Advisory Council members and staff are not eligible to participate in the Essay Contest.

2017 Essay Contest Winners

     High School                       Middle School

Harry Kamian
1st Place, HS
"A Meandering Moped"


Sophia Bitner
1st Place, MS
"The Arch"

Thomas Odlum
2nd Place, HS
"Zabi and Me"


Isobel Hamilton
2nd Place, MS
"Stuck on the way
to Somaliland"

Sophie Kane
3rd Place, HS
"A Gift from Fouta Toro"


Eva Etcheverry
3rd Place, MS
"Outside the Zone"

Publicize for FSYF!
Print and Post the 2018 

Funding for this award is made possible by McGrath Real Estate Services

2017 Essay winner Harry Kamian (right) and James McGrath, McGrath Real Estate (left)

2017 Essay winner Thomas Odlum (right) and James McGrath, McGrath Real Estate (left)

Hamed and Kristin Kane, parents of Essay winner Sophie Kane (left) and James McGrath McGrath Real Estate (right)

2017 Essay winner Sophia Bitner (right) and James McGrath, McGrath Real Estate (left)

2017 Essay winner Isobel Hamilton (left) and James McGrath, McGrath Real Estate (right)

Sponsor Jim McGrath presents Lara Welch with 2016 High School Essay Contest Award.

Sponsor Jim McGrath presents Penelope Duran with 2016 Middle School Essay Contest Award.

Funding for this award is made possible by McGrath Real Estate Services

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