6 Community Service Scholarships

Don’t believe everything you read. The millennial generation, decried and slammed by many for being selfish, has demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment to the community to an almost unprecedented level. According to a Forbes study, millennials are more likely to volunteer and emphasize the importance of volunteering than their Boomer or Gen X predecessors were at the same age. In fact, when surveyed, over half of a group of millennials employed by large corporations claimed that they accepted their job in part by the causes the companies committed to.

With the last of the millennials trickling through high school into college by 2018, the importance of community service among young people has never been higher. In fact, students are more than ever encouraged to serve their communities and volunteer at a young age. As they say, “what goes around, comes around,” because those that demonstrate outstanding volunteer work and community service will be rewarded with fantastic scholarships once they apply for college:

Two people sitting at a computer together.

Do Something Awards

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: Varies

Designed to reward young civic-minded students with a vision for bettering either their local community or their country at large, the Do Something Awards are the standard-bearer for community service grants. Many different community service scholarships are available through the foundation’s opportunities, which include essay contests, shadowing prominent civic leaders, and tutoring fellow students.

Past winners at the Do Something Awards include current CNN political commentator and civil rights activist Van Jones, who received a financial grant for his efforts to end police misconduct in the San Francisco bay area. The scholarship money goes directly to tuition at the school of the student’s choice.

Carson Scholars

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: TBD for 2021

The Carson Scholars Fund, uniquely, starts earlier than other scholarship programs. From the time students are in fourth grade, they are eligible to enter the Carson Scholarship Fund, which rewards both academic excellence and dedication to one’s community.

However, unlike other community service scholarships, it is up to the individual school to put a student’s name in contention for the award. Students interested must approach a teacher to nominate them for the award. Once given the award, laureates can reapply annually for additional funds. Younger students receive the scholarship money when they go to college, a large medal, and a trophy for their school to display. For those graduating high school, a 3.75 cumulative GPA is required to be considered.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Established in 2001, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes awards students who have made a large impact on their community.

To qualify, you must have led a community service project in the past 12 months and be 18 years old or younger.

Equitable ExcellenceSM Scholarship 

Amount: $2,500; $10,000; $25,000

Deadline: TBD for 2020

The Equitable Excellence Scholarship awards one scholarship each to students from 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington DC each year. Beyond the scholarship award, the winner’s school also receives a $1,000 grant.

Scholarship winners show their dedication and drive for community service, as well as their ability to succeed in college while giving back. The scholarship gives special consideration to students who have done community service related to the environment, safety, health, and emergency preparedness.

Harry S Truman Scholarship

Amount: $30,000

Deadline: TBD for 2021

Harry S Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, once stated that America was “built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand”. Through the scholarship established in his honor, students demonstrating these three values receive a tremendous grant of $30,000. In total, the organization gives sixty-five awards, used towards a graduate education.

To be considered, students must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, community dedication, commitment to a career in public service, and an inherent ability to be an agent of change. Students interested in applying must contact their school’s Truman representative to be nominated.

Samuel Huntington Public Service Award

Amount: $15,000

Deadline: TBD for 2021

While not necessarily a scholarship, for students who plan to enter public service or volunteering, the Huntington Award is the holy grail. Awarded annually to one student, the award provides $15,000 for a graduating college senior to undertake a year-long public service project. Given out since 1989, past winners have set up non-profit organizations, built schools in Kenya, and mentored at-risk urban students, among other great causes.

The application requires an abstract and proposal for the project, a resume, academic transcripts, a proposed budget, and three letters of recommendation, among other aspects.

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