This year close to 1,000 students submitted entries to the National Peace Essay Contest while thousands more participated in related writing and other classroom exercises in high schools around the country.

Over the years, more than 1,300 state winners have participated in the Washington Awards Program. Many of these students have gone on to study foreign policy issues in college, or have pursued careers in international affairs.

This year, the U.S. Institute of Peace's National Peace Essay Contest staff organized an exciting program for the state winners during their week in Washington. Activities included:

  • A challenging three-day simulation
  • Meetings with knowledgeable speakers such as distinguished foreign policy scholars, practitioners, public officials in Congress, and foreign diplomats
  • Visits to historic national memorials and museums
  • An awards banquet to honor state winners and to announce national winners.


Three high school students—one each from Tennessee, Arkansas and Virginia—won scholarships of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 respectively as national, first and second place prizes in the National Peace Essay Contest. Callie Smith from Tennessee, Kensey Berry from Arkansas and Olga Korostelina from Virginia, the three national winners, were awarded their prizes at a banquet on June 26 honoring all 48 state winners.

Read the news release about the winners.