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  • Writer's picturePress Release

2021 Model NATO Challenge

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Applications for the 2021 Model NATO Challenge Scholarship Program & Press Corps Program Now Available!

Words and Images by the Nikki Nieves & Norfolk NATO Festival

The Model NATO Challenge is a unique scholarship opportunity for your students to develop skills in leadership and diplomacy while learning about one of the world’s most successful alliances, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Application Form Deadline: December 18th!

30 Student Diplomats (along with six alternates) are chosen to represent each of the 30 NATO Member Nations during the Model NATO Challenge simulation, modeled after NATO’s highest decision making body, the North Atlantic Council. Student Diplomats are assigned mentors, military officers from each of the 30 countries, who assist in preparing the students for the challenge while teaching them about their culture, national military resources, and political backgrounds. This mentoring relationship is a very unique feature of the Model NATO Challenge, as students have the opportunity to work with mentors who are Officers at NATO-Allied Command Transformation.

To apply for the Model NATO Challenge, students must complete the application and select either the essay format or panel interview format to be considered. Based on their performance in the Challenge simulation on March 17th, the Top Three Finalists are awarded scholarships to use toward the College or University of their choice!


  1. Option I: Essay Format – January 8, 2021 (application, teacher recommendation, and essay to be submitted)

  2. Option II: Panel Interview Format – December 18, 2020 (application and teacher recommendation to be submitted)

*Panel Interview Date: January 7, 2021 between 5pm-8pm; students must receive their confirmed reserved timeslots in advance from Festival staff, no walk-ups will be accepted.

Pursuant to CDC Guidelines for COVID-19, we are currently planning to proceed with this scholarship program in person and will be taking all necessary safety precautions. If we are unable to safely gather physically for the program’s scheduled dates, we will still proceed in a virtual format.

We hope that you encourage your students to apply for the 2021 Model NATO Challenge Scholarship Program! Please encourage students to visit our website to download the application and schedule of events today.

Applications are available online at Norfolk NATO Festival If you or your students have questions about the Scholarship and/or Press Corps Programs, please feel free to contact us at 757-282-2801 or We look forward to receiving your students’ applications!

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