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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 2019 Essay topics are: 

Middle school: “Describe what you can see from your window in your current or former residence. How does it affect your sense of self as a Foreign Service youth?”

High school: “Using examples from your own experiences, describe how growing up as a Foreign Service youth has influenced your perspective on life and the world.”  

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 the summer. 

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. 

The children of FSYF Board and Advisory Council members and staff are not eligible to participate in the Essay Contest.

To enter, please complete the application and submit via email to 
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).  

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

2019 Essay Contest Application

The 2019 deadline is Sunday, March 31, 2019


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! 

 Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)

PO Box 50663   Arlington, VA   22205


 © 2014 Foreign Service Youth Foundation

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