According to the Bezos Family Foundation website, “Each spring, 17 exceptional high school juniors and a supportive educator from their school are selected as Bezos Scholars from around the U.S. and from the African Leadership Academy. After spending a week immersed in learning at the Aspen Ideas Festival, they return home to inspire action by developing a community change project that combines their passion with meeting a defined community need.
The Bezos Scholars Program has built a strong network of alumni and provides opportunities for them to connect, get inspired, and develop their leadership skills.”
Who is eligible to apply to the Bezos Scholars Program?
- Be a public high school (charter, magnet schools, and tribal schools through the Bureau of Indian Education are eligible)
- Have at least 30% of students who are eligible for free/reduced price meals (firm cutoff)
- To encourage equity of opportunity, priority is given to applicants attending schools that have not had a Bezos Scholar in the previous two years
Student Scholar applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a junior during the 2018-19 academic year
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA status
- Demonstrate leadership in their school and community
- Have taken and received scores for at least one of the following tests: PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ACT Aspire
- Be enrolled in, or have taken, one or more Advanced Placement (AP) classes, International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, or college-level courses
- Be available to participate fully and attend all trip dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival trip in Aspen, Colorado on June 22-28, 2019
- August 2019 – June 2020: Commit to attending monthly webinars, check-in calls, and develop and launch a community change project (Local Ideas Festival) as well as complete three reports on the progress of project development
What is value of the Bezos Scholars Program?
According to website, “the program kicks off with an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend the acclaimed Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF), a remarkable gathering of thinkers and change agents from around the world. On the Aspen Institute campus, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Student and Educator Scholars participate in all that the festival has to offer including:
- Festival sessions where notable speakers and guests discuss their work, issues and ideas that inspire them.
- Small, roundtable discussions with some of the greatest minds of our time ranging from writers and artists to entrepreneurs – change agents from the world around! Past Scholars have been privileged to meet with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, youth activisit Clifton Kinnie, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and journalist Nicholas Kristof, to name just a few.
- Interactive leadership training sessions that prepare them for the challenge ahead: sparking community change via sustainable Local Ideas Festivals.
- Throughout the academic year, Scholars participate in virtual Bezos Scholars Program trainings and are invited to apply for a $1,000 seed grant to design and implement their Local Ideas Festival.”
When is the application for the Bezos Scholars Program due by?
Complete applications must be received by the Bezos Family Foundation by February 8, 2019. Late applications are not accepted.
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