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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > June
Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 29, 2001

Foreign Service Youth Awards

Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage presented the annual Foreign Service Youth Awards at a special ceremony today at the Department of State.

The Foreign Service Youth Awards recognize Foreign Service teenagers around the world who demonstrate outstanding leadership and make significant contributions to their embassy community, schools, local communities, and service to their peers. Award recipients for 2001 exemplify the talent, commitment, dedication, vision, and volunteer spirit that characterize internationally mobile American youth growing up in overseas communities. Winners receive a $1000 savings bond.

Of the 10,000 children living abroad whose parents serve at a US Embassy or Consulate, approximately 3,000 are middle and high school students. Eleven students were nominated for these awards and the three recipients are:

  • Jane W. Symington, 16, a sophomore at Academia Cotopaxi, daughter of State Department Political Officer W. Stuart Symington and Susan Ide Symington, serving at the US Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. Jane won the award for continued good work on behalf of her fellow students, the elderly and the disadvantaged of Quito. With her school’s social action committee, she raised money and necessities for children eking out an existence in the local dump. The group built a house for one such family. With her school ecology club, she raised money and collected materials for the emergency cleanup effort after an oil spill that threatened the Galapagos Islands. She also participated in a school peer-tutoring program in math, science, history and Spanish. In her local community, Jane was involved with the Advent Saint Nicholas Church, where she coordinated Sunday school classes and enlisted her peers to teach. Jane plays the trumpet and speaks Spanish.

  • Laura I. Wagner, 16, a junior at St. John's International School, daughter of State Department Counselor for Narcotics Affairs Jim Wagner and Ruth Wagner, serving at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels. Laura was presented the award for her commitment over several years working with children, the poor, the elderly, and on behalf of the environment. She initiated a project which raised money to rebuild a kitchen in the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group that manages a home for the aged in Brussels. She has volunteered in a soup kitchen, is active in Amnesty International, and has worked with the local ecology club on a recycling campaign. Laura has also helped to raise money for earthquake victims in El Salvador. She plays the cello, speaks Spanish and French, and was accepted earlier this year into the St. John’s chapter of the National Honor Society.

  • Roy Stanford Zwahlen, 18, a 2001 graduate of the George C. Marshall High School, son of Assistant Army Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Zwahlen and Susan Pyper Zwahlen, assigned to the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Roy captured the award for his dedication to his community, and for his commitment to action whenever and wherever he has seen the need. He has been actively involved in either running or organizing a number of fund-raising events on behalf of earthquake victims. Roy has raised money and gathered toys for the children’s ward of the oncology unit at a local hospital. He starred in his high school production of "Grease," speaks English and functional Arabic.
Deputy Secretary Armitage also presented Certificates of Appreciation to editors of the Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL) teen newsletter, WINGS of AWAL, published monthly for Foreign Service youth located in the Washington, DC area. The recipients were recognized for their leadership and dedication to support Washington area teens and for reaching out to those living with their families abroad. The newsletter is an activity of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation.

Certificates were presented to:

  • Courtney Hastings, a 2001 graduate of McLean High School, McLean, Virginia, son of Norm and Lily Hastings. He will be attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the fall. Courtney speaks Spanish and ranked 17th in the 2001 State orchestra audition on the violin.

  • James Wackerbarth, a 2001 graduate of George Mason High School, Falls Church, Virginia, son of Paul and Cindy Wackerbarth. James will be attending Hope College in Holland, Michigan, in the fall. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and will continue his service this summer in Honduras with Amigos de las Americas.
The Foreign Service Youth Awards are sponsored by the Foreign Service Youth Foundation, the Department of State Family Liaison Office, and the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide. Harry M. Jannette International and Wood Wilson Company, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, also sponsored these awards for the first time this year.

The Foreign Service Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1989, to inform, advocate and develop outreach activities for the internationally mobile youth of all U.S. foreign affairs agencies. For further information about FSYF and its programs, please contact:

Kay Eakin, President
P.O. Box 39185
Washington, DC 20016
Email: fsyf@fsyf.org
Web site: http://www.fsyf.org
Telephone: (301) 404-6655

Released on June 29, 2001

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