U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > August

Remarks to Winners of AFSA's National High School Essay Contest

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Remarks At Awards Presentation
Washington, DC
August 15, 2001

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you. Well, thank you very much, John. And first, let me begin by thanking the American Foreign Service Association for having this award, and a special thanks to our distinguished Ambassador Roy Atherton for supervising this. And Ambassador Pringle, thank you for taking on these responsibilities. And a special thanks to the Delavan Foundation as well for their financial support of this.

And of course, we are really here not to thank each other but to express our admiration to this young lady, Marguerite, for writing such an outstanding essay. For those of you who haven't had an opportunity to read it yet, it has sweep, it has depth, it has footnotes. (Laughter.) As I mentioned to Marguerite, it's something I never did when I was in high school was ever use footnotes.

But it was a very well done essay that takes us from the words of Santayana up to the present, and she obviously spent a lot of time researching the Foreign Service, and also researching the sweep of recent history. And so she came out on top out of 750 other youngsters who were willing to take the time and effort to submit an essay.

It is not just for the purpose of singling out one youngster and recognizing her, but also to encourage more youngsters across America to have an interest in international affairs and foreign policy, and to be perfectly blunt, to whet their appetites with respect to the Foreign Service, and so that they might, through this essay effort, come to understand the important role that our Foreign Service officers play in taking America's values around the world.

And to that extent, the essay contest has been very, very successful, and I congratulate once again the AFSA and all who participate in this effort for giving us another way of reaching out into the American community, especially the young part of the American community, to encourage people to serve their nation, but especially to serve their nation in international affairs. And I hope that Marguerite, as you receive this award, as you get the scholarship money that will go with it, your appetite has been whetted, not just to leave this essay contest behind you, but I hope a day will come when you will say: "You know, that Foreign Service stuff's pretty cool." (Laughter.) Now, and I think I am going to become a member of the Foreign Service, after finishing your studies, hopefully at George Washington University, and -- see, she's -- she got it. (Laughter.) And then maybe you will be in this Treaty Room at some other point in your life, when we swear you into the Foreign Service, and then many, many years after that when we swear you in to an ambassadorship somewhere in the United States of America.

So I hope that is your ambition, and to begin you on that road to success and achievement and to recognize your achievement on this occasion, it is my great pleasure to present this certificate to you, to congratulate you, but to also express my thanks and admiration to your parents, who have given you this kind of support and guidance, and have taken you to this point in your life, and to express my deep appreciation for what they have done as well.  (Applause.)



Released on August 15, 2001

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.