The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to announce that Jonas Lorincz—a junior from Marriotts Ridge High School in Marriottsville, Maryland—is the winner of the 2020 National High School Essay Contest.

For the last five years, USIP has partnered with the American Foreign Service Association on the annual National High School Essay Contest. The contest encourages high school students to learn and write about issues of peace and conflict and to appreciate diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security.

This year’s essay prompt asked students to describe how members of the Foreign Service work with other civilian parts of the U.S. government to promote peace, national security, and economic prosperity.

Lorincz’s essay, “Verification, Mediation, and Peacebuilding: The Many Roles of the U.S. Foreign Service in Kosovo,” was selected from nearly 440 submissions from 36 states. At some point in the coming months, Lorincz will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with a member of the State Department’s leadership, gain full tuition for an educational voyage with Semester at Sea, and be honored at a USIP reception.

Claire Burke, a junior at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kansas, was this year’s runner-up. She will receive a full scholarship to participate in the International Diplomacy Program at the National Student Leadership Conference.

The 2020 honorable mentions were: Grace Cifuentes (Concord, CA), Grace Lannigan (Easton, CT), Seryung Park (Tenafly, NJ), Vynateya Purimetla (Troy, MI), David Richman (Norfolk, VA), Madeleine Shaw (Bloomington, IN), Sara Smith (Fargo, ND), and Jack Viscuso (Northport, NY).

USIP congratulates all the awardees for the 2020 National High School Essay Contest. The Institute’s sponsorship of the National High School Essay Contest is part of its commitment to educating young Americans on the United States’ role in preventing and resolving conflicts around the world. For additional USIP resources for students, teachers, and the broader American public, visit:

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