Thanks to Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, for his special message to World Affairs Council of San Antonio guests at the 2023 International Citizen of the Year Award Dinner!

News Release: Academic WorldQuest 2017

NEWS RELEASE (pdf version)

Contact – Gretchen Roufs, 210-601-4572, or Leslie Palmer, 210-308-9494,

Local high school students to compete in international affairs contest
World Affairs Council’s “Academic WorldQuest” is a qualifying event for the national competition

SAN ANTONIO (March 14, 2017) – Countering Violent Extremism. Peace and Conflict in Today’s World. Combating Infectious Disease. Women in Technology.

These are just a few of the topics that 40 teams of high school students from 18 San Antonio area schools are studying to get ready for the local competition of the World Affairs Council’s annual Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America. The program engages more than 4,000 high school students across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy. Some 50 local World Affairs Councils host local Academic WorldQuest events which are qualifying contests for the national completion.

This year’s local Academic WorldQuest contest will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 10:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Rackspace. Expected to participate are 160 students, 22 advisors, and 25 volunteers. “San Antonio has several direct ties to the national Academic WorldQuest program. We are the reigning champion of the national competition, with the 2016 U.S. victory going to the team from the Keystone School that represented San Antonio. The other significant San Antonio connection is the generous commitment of Carlos and Malú Alvarez of San Antonio, whose significant pledge supports the national Academic WorldQuest program. Mr. Alvarez is CEO of the Gambrinus Company and serves the board of both the national and the San Antonio World Affairs Councils. We so proud that the national program is supported by and named for Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez,” said Leslie Palmer, World Affairs Council of San Antonio executive director.

Every team consists of four high school students who compete in 10 rounds of 10 questions each, both at the local qualifying level and the national level. To study for the event, the national World Affairs Council releases an 18-page study guide that recommends specific readings and videos, from a variety of international sources, including the World Bank, BBC News, the U.S. Department of State, and TED Talks.

Ms. Cristina Peña Walls, business development manager at HEB, is the local World Affairs Council’s board member leading the San Antonio Academic WorldQuest effort. “Academic WorldQuest is a way to challenge our youth to develop their full potential and to thrive in and contribute to our diverse society. It’s also a fun way for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of international affairs and culture.”

The ten topics for the 2017 local and national competition include Current Events, Peace and Conflict in Today’s World, Combating Infectious Disease, European Union, Countering Violent Extremism, Turkey, Global Megacities, China, and Women in Technology.

San Antonio area schools competing locally include: BASIS San Antonio North Central, Calvary Chapel Christian Academy, Claudia Taylor Johnson JROTC, Incarnate Word High School, International School of the Americas, John F. Kennedy High School, Judson Early College Academy, Judson Learning Academy, Keystone School, O’Connor High School, Memorial High School, Robert E. Lee High School, Saint Mary’s Hall, School of Science and Technology, Southwest High School, STEM Academy, TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, and Warren High School. Up to three teams from each school may compete in the local contest.

The team winning the March 22 San Antonio event will travel to compete at the 2017 national WorldQuest event on April 28 and 29 in Washington, DC. Last year’s national championship team from San Antonio included Keystone School students Nabil Kapasi, Katie Mansfield, Chris Zhu, and Emily Ye. Their faculty advisor was Raymond Boryczka.

Other upcoming San Antonio World Affairs Council events include “The European Union: What is Next for this Unique Project?” featuring the Right Honourable Henry McLeish, former member of the Scottish Parliament, on Tuesday March 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pearl Studio (part of the Ambassador Luncheon Series”); a Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Mixer & Tour on Wednesday, April 19 at the San Antonio Museum of Art (a Young Professionals evening); and two events that are part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, including “Cybersecurity and Foreign Policy” on Thursday, May 11 and “World Class Cities” on Tuesday, May 25. All events are open to the public.

About the World Affairs Council of San Antonio Founded in 1982, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2017. Its mission is to promote public understanding of world affairs and United States foreign policy, and to enhance the ability of the community and future leaders to participate as global citizens. The Council accomplishes its mission by presenting lectures, organizing discussion groups, sponsoring educational outreach programs, and hosting events for young professionals. A not-for-profit and non-partisan organization, it is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America. Visit and follow the World Affairs Council of San Antonio at and Contact the World Affairs Council at 40 NE Loop 410, Suite 608, San Antonio, TX 78216. Telephone 210-308-9494. Email