Through educational contests and other engagement opportunities, USIP helps young peacebuilders understand how conflicts are resolved, how peace is achieved, and how they can make a difference. 

Academic WorldQuest

Each year, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) engages more than 4,000 high school students across the U.S. in its signature quiz contest that tests their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy in 10 categories. Since 2016, USIP has been a co-sponsor of this national contest, adding a peace and conflict category and resources each year. 

National High School Essay Contest

Since 2015, USIP has partnered with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on its annual National High School Essay Contest. The contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, and encourages appreciation for diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security. 

Peace Clubs

USIP’s Peace Club Starter Kit provides a simple framework for students to get organized, get active, and get the word out about peacebuilding. Young people can set their own goals and identify their own ways to directly engage on issues that are important to them.

Previous Initiatives

Starting in 1987, USIP challenged students to think critically about global issues of conflict and peace through the National Peace Essay Contest (NPEC), which wrapped up in 2014. USIP has built upon the legacy of the NPEC by partnering with other organizations on initiatives like those mentioned above – initiatives that inspire students to learn more about the American approach to global peacebuilding. One such past partnership was with National History Day (NHD). From 2016-2020, USIP was proud to sponsor a Special Prize at the NHD national level, awarded annually to the top middle and high school entries that demonstrated America’s commitment to peace. Click here to view contests for students that we currently cosponsor.