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Investing in The Next Generation of Activists & Researchers

Through our annual essay contest, the John Sexton Scholars Program selects thoughtful and creative young activists and researchers to join our team of Scholars in order to further develop their practical skills and academic insight into today's international conflicts. 


The opportunities we provide are tailored to our Scholars varied interests and are made possible by connecting them with current experts in their fields, including leading university professors, authors, human rights lawyers, non-profit directors, educators, and others.  More specifically, this includes:

The Student Journal on International Conflict

JS Scholars currently have unique access to our online Journal, along with a personalized portfolio of their work, which starts with their JS Essay Contest submission.  Through our Writing & Research Mentorship, Interview Program, and Current Events Blog we help our Scholars develop their ideas and bring them to fruition in both written and video publications.

Writing & Research Mentorship Program

JS Scholars interested in publishing a research article or policy proposal are matched with one of our W&R Mentors, each a leader in their respective fields.  Our Scholars and Mentors will start by meeting individually to discuss and refine the overall concepts and arguments the Scholar is working on. This is followed by additional meetings to outline and draft the article.  Lastly, our Managing Editor helps each Scholar with the final stages of copy editing and publication.

Interview Program

Interested JS Scholars are matched with one of the leading experts and academics who are affiliated with the program.  Before the interview, our Managing Editor provides professional training on how to conduct interviews, research topics, write interview questions, and then assists with mock practice sessions. Afterwards we arrange the interview itself, and then edit and publish the interviews on our Journal.

Current Events Blog

In contrast to the W&R Mentorship and the Interview Program, both of which require weeks of work before developing the final product, our Blog provides JS Scholars with a chance to more quickly comment on recent events they see in the news.  These shorter, informal posts are edited with guidance from our Managing Director.

The Collective Grantmaking Program

Each year, the JS Scholars Program fundraises a significant amount of money for the specific purpose of donating it to international NGOs working directly on issues of conflict, displaced persons, and related issues.  Our incoming class of Scholars are then taught how to research and evaluate NGOs with the goal of donating the money to 2-5 NGOs related to their year's essay contest question.  After discussing their research together, the cohort writes and defends a proposal for how to allocate the donations.  The proposal is evaluated by our Staff and Board of Directors.

Internship Opportunities


As internships become available with our growing network of affiliated and other NGOs, Scholars will be directly connected with these opportunities or assisted with applying for them.

In previous years, we have assisted JS Scholars in securing internships at UN Justice For All, Harvard, NYU, Cornell University.

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