Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the . territories, or if they are . citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter. $2,500 to the writer of the winning essay, in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the . for the winner and his or her parents, and an all-expense paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.
To enter the Listen to a Life Contest, a young person
8-18 years old interviews an older person over 50 years (cannot be a parent; may be a grandparent, older friend, mentor, neighbor, assisted living or long-term care resident, etc.) The young person then writes a 300-word essay (maximum) based on the interview.
Get ready by doing a little reading…
Check the contest rules . You can also read Why Enter?
Read past winning stories to see how to craft an appropriate essay. The judging committee isn't looking for a laundry list of dates and life facts. Rather, they're looking for an evocative, creative story that captures the essence of a person's life, or a critical moment or experience.
Finally, young and old can read and discuss the award-winning book Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes , by Susan V. Bosak. A multilayered story told by a wise old star, it's about hopes and dreams across a lifetime, in the past and into the future. We even have intergenerational activities you can do. The book sets the stage for a great interview.