WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cara E. Pavlak of Auburn has been named state winner in the 17th annual National Peace Essay Contest, sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace. Pavlak, a student at St. Dominic Regional High School, will receive a $1,000 college scholarship and will compete for national awards of up to $10,000.

More than 1,000 students participated in the contest. Students conducted research and wrote essays on “Rebuilding Societies after Conflict.” The title of Pavlak’s essay is “Methods of Post-Conflict Reconstruction Examined Through Rwanda and Burundi.” Rosanne Ducey is the faculty coordinator for the contest at St. Dominic.

Pavlak has been invited to represent Maine in a a special program for state-level winners of the institute’s essay contest in Washington June 19 through 24. Students will meet with senior U.S. government and foreign embassy officials, members of Congress and other experts involved in the making of American foreign policy.

They will also assume the roles of diplomats, government officials and members of the international community in a special three-day problem-solving simulation focusing on the conflict in Sudan. The purpose is to encourage the participants to examine the process of post-conflict reconstruction.

At week’s end the national first-, second- and third-place winners will be announced, and college scholarships of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded at a banquet on June 23.

Those wishing can follow Pavlak and the other winners by visiting the institute’s Web site at www.usip.org.


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