National Peace Essay Contest

March 15, 2016
Maximum Award: 
All high school students

The Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding runs the National Peace Essay Contest. They believe that questions about peace, justice, freedom, and security are vital to civic education. Over 1,100 students submit entries to the essay contest annually.

In addition to winning scholarships top winners are invited to Washington, D.C. for a five-day awards program all expenses paid.

Students in grades nine through twelve are asked to write an essay between 1000 and 1250 words on the topic:

Essay Topic:

Imagine that you are a member of the U.S. Foreign Service recently assigned to one of the eight bureaus within the Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (see the sponsor’s website for the list).

You have been tasked with seeking peacebuilding solutions to a particular conflict or crisis that threatens U.S. interests abroad. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: ongoing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, escalating violence in Iraq, destabilizing forces in Mali and sectarian violence in Myanmar. You are welcome to explore conflicts related to economic crises, resource scarcity, refugee influxes or any other topic that interests you.

In an essay between 1000 and 1250 words, answer the following questions:

  • How does the conflict or crisis you selected threaten U.S. interests abroad?
  • What is the official mission of your chosen bureau in general and in your chosen conflict in particular? As a member of the Foreign Service, what is your role in the bureau?
  • How do you propose your chosen bureau might work in partnership with other organizations to address your chosen conflict? Please describe how your efforts will help build peace in this conflict?
    • Consider other U.S. government agencies and organizations, such as the U.S. Institute of Peace, as well as non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, international institutions etc.


Check out other essay contests for which you may be eligible.

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