Heights Senior Wins Foreign Service Award

July 20, 2012
Cleveland Heights, OH

Natasha Madorsky

Heights High Senior Natasha Madorsky won first place in the American Foreign Service Association’s (AFSA) 2012 National Essay Contest. More than 500 students entered the contest from 22 states and abroad.

Natasha’s essay about how to improve the relations between the U.S. and South Sudan “was judged as one of the best ever in the 14 year history of this prestigious nationwide contest,” said Thomas W. Switzer, Director of Communications for the American Foreign Service Association. Thousands of high school students have entered the contest over the years. “Very few of them had any prior awareness of the critical role of the Foreign Service for key national interests,” he continued.

As the winner, Natasha and her parents, Elizabeth Stern and Michael Madorsky, and English teacher Peggy Hull will accompany Natasha to Washington, DC, on July 26, where they will have a photo meeting with Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton. The award also includes $2,500 and a college scholarship for a Semester at Sea.

“I was so excited when AFSA called to tell me I had won!” said Natasha. “And getting to meet Secretary Clinton is like a dream come true.”

The award winning essay was the most recent activity for Natasha in international relations. As a sixth grader at Roxboro Middle School, she joined the Model United Nations program and has been a leader in the program since then. She is currently the President of the Heights High Chapter and Assistant Secretary-General of the Ohio Model UN.

“I am interested in learning about the issues in developing nations,” said Natasha. “I worked on a Model UN resolution for Senegal, mostly focused on education.” That experience helped shape her interest in South Sudan. “It is such a new country and faces many challenges,” she added. “There is really an opportunity to make an impact there.”

In her essay, Natasha discusses the importance of the Foreign Service taking both a “top-down and grassroots approach to nation building."

Natasha will take several classes at Case Western Reserve University during her senior year as part of the CWRU Pre-College Program and the Ohio Post Secondary Enrollment Option. She plans to apply to Princeton and Harvard to study foreign relations after graduation. 

She is active in many service organizations at Heights High and Temple-Tifereth Israel, raises funds for Girl Up and is a 2012 summer intern at The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at CWRU and with the Ohio Democratic Party.

Watch for an upcoming video interview. Natasha will be recognized at the September 4 Board of Education meeting.