Academic WorldQuest Competition (2020-2021, 2019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018, 2015-2016, 2014-2015, 2013-2014)
World Affairs Council of the Desert sponsors the Academic WorldQuest Student Competition; a journey of learning in which youth expand their academic knowledge and understanding of world affairs by reading and comprehending complex digital sources. This process nourishes the minds of our youth while feeding them with the keys for future academic success in the rigorous arena of international affairs as they research, study, and prepare their sources.
The sixty participating students work diligently together over a four-month period preparing and studying for the "QUEST": a team game that tests high school students' knowledge of international affairs. Any high school in the Coachella Valley may register a team, and students of any age may participate. Scholarships are awarded to each student on the top three teams as well as to students on the team most improved from the previous year. The top three teams also win trophies, and others can receive the Special Spirit Award. These prizes encourage teamwork, diligence, and community involvement, and demonstrate an investment in students' futures.
Under normal circumstances, the first-place team gets an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete in the national competition in April (if the country comes out of this extraordinary pandemic situation), an exciting opportunity for these students, many of whom have never ventured outside of the Coachella Valley. Previous competitions have inspired a number of students to pursue careers in foreign affairs, law, and political science.