June 21, 1999
Release No. 036-99

CONTACT: Lois Herrmann
PHONE: (202) 619-4365

United States Information Agency - News Release


Washington, D.C. -- Thirteen students in the 7th to 12th grades from around the United States who were awarded college scholarships June 20, in Washington, D.C., as winners of the nationwide Fulbright Young Essayist contest. The awards program, created in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Fulbright Educational Exchange Program, serves to promote an understanding of international cross cultural issues among students and honor the country's top young writers. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency in collaboration with The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Inc. The Alliance has been committed to recognizing the voices and visions of creative young people in the United States for nearly 75 years through The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Students won scholarships of varying amounts for use at the colleges of their choice.

While in Washington, the essay contest winners received their awards in a ceremony June 20 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Frank McCourt, author of the best selling memoir, "Angela's Ashes", was the keynote speaker at the event. The students read their essays at Washington's Warner Theatre later that day. On June 19, the thirteen winners and their families were honored at a dinner organized by the U.S. Information Agency and held at the Mexican Cultural Institute.

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The United States Information Agency, headed by Acting Director Penn Kemble, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

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