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FSYF Essay Contest 


The annual FSYF Essay Contest challenges Foreign Service youth to reflect on their experience by responding to an essay prompt. Middle and high school students are invited to participate in the contest sponsored by McGrath Real Estate Services.

The 2021 Essay topic is: 

"If you were writing a travel guide for visitors to your current or prior post, what out-of-the way location or special local event would you highlight in the guide?  Describe how living in that country as Foreign Service youth allowed you to discover that location or event which a short-term visitor might miss. "


Award Details


The judges select winners for both Middle School and High School that will receive generous cash prizes made possible by McGrath Real Estate Services. 
Winners will receive first, second, or third place awards of $800, $500, or $300 (respectively) in the high school category. 

Middle school award winners will receive first, second, or third place awards of $500, $300, or $150 (respectively).
All winners are recognized at the Youth Awards Ceremony held at the Department of State in June. 

Contest Eligibility

Must be a current member of FSYF as of March 31, 2021.

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.  

Family members of FSYF officers, directors, major contributors, employees, and members of any selection committee are not eligible to participate.


***Essays will become the property of FSYF and McGrath Real Estate Services and may be used in future promotional materials.  



2021 Essay Contest Application


The deadline is Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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Funding for this award is made possible by 




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


 Jim McGrath is honored to sponsor the FSYF Essay contest in honor of his parents, Ed and Peg McGrath (a Foreign Service family with 4 children) who after their travels in 1976 founded MR Real Estate and set the standard for representing Foreign Service members in every aspect of residential property management and sales brokerage in Northern Virginia.

 The McGrath family had multiple overseas postings over a 30 year career so Jim understands the sacrifices and unique opportunities of FS lifestyle and appreciates the support offered by FSYF.  Serving the real estate needs of his clients stationed throughout the world and witnessing firsthand how FSYF assists our youth and families, in making the most of their experience, the McGraths are honored to sponsor FSYF! 

JimMcGrathRealEstate.com 





 Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)

PO Box 50663   Arlington, VA   22205

703.731.2960

 © 2014 Foreign Service Youth Foundation

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