Mr. Brook complained that Rand's critics are quick to point to her followers' failures, but rarely mention their successes. He cited the example of John A. Allison IV, the much-admired former head of BB&T Corporation, a regional bank in the Southeast that he built into one of the nation's largest before he stepped down in 2008. Mr. Allison handed out copies of "Atlas Shrugged" to senior executives and is a major donor to the Ayn Rand Institute. He incorporated many of Rand's teachings into his 2014 book, "The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure."
Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the . territories, or if they are . citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter. $2,500 to the writer of the winning essay, in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the . for the winner and his or her parents, and an all-expense paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.