Funder: Bezos Family Foundation; Opportunity: 2016 Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute; Funding Focus: Service Learning; Geographic Focus: National; Eligibility: Students, public high schools; Funding: Scholars fees, $1,000 in start up grants, last year the foundations distributed about $22 million in grants; Deadline: (TBA) the competition is to open this fall; last year’s deadline was Feb. 16.
Summary: The Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute seeks high school students who are independent thinkers, demonstrated leaders, and engaged community members. Participants meet one another and engage in seminars and informal meetings with the international leaders, acclaimed thinkers, and creative artists who participate in the annual Aspen Ideas Festival. Following attendance at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the scholar teams will return home and create Local Ideas Festivals in their schools. Once home, scholars can apply for their first year grant ($1,000 in seed funding). To do this, they submit a grant proposal (with ongoing training and support from staff to complete it). Scholars are encouraged to seek additional funding from their community, as well. Schools are eligible to receive three years of $1,000 in seed funding to continue their festival. See the FAQ page at: http://tinyurl.com/o8js6uj
Applicants’ schools must be public high schools (including charter and magnet schools) where at least 25% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch. Potential scholars must be legal U.S. citizens in their junior year with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and be taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes. Scholar applicants must demonstrate leadership in school and community and have scored exceptionally well on the PSAT/SAT/or ACT.