Shout Outs: Grant Opportunities, Contests, and Awards for Youth

Generation No Kid Hungry Art and Writing Contest | Deadline: October 17, 2014

Teachers, challenge your students to take action against childhood hunger and enter our art and writing contest. Winning students will earn scholarships and cash for their schools by creating their own original entries. This contest is open only to: Legal residents of the United States who are in 7th through 12th grades at the time of entry. Students' parents/guardians or educators who are currently employed by an accredited public or private K–12 school in the United States must apply on behalf of eligible students. Students must enter in one of the following four categories: Personal or persuasive essay, 500 to 2,000 words, double-spaced. Poem or short story. Short film (1 to 5 minutes in length) or photo essay (4 to 10 photos, 400 to 1,000 words). Artwork (painting, digital art, drawing, sculpture, multimedia, multi-panel comic strip/book, story board. Must include 200- to 400-word description). Prizes include: Four (4) grand-prize winners (one in each category) will each receive a $500 cash scholarship and a $200 donation to his or her school. Twelve (12) runners-up (three in each category) will each receive a $100 cash scholarship and a $100 donation to his or her school. One grand-prize winner and 3 runners-up will be chosen in each category by Generation No Kid Hungry and WeAreTeachers.

See the free downloadable lesson ideas and find out how your students can enter now at

The Media-Smart Youth® Teen Leaders Program | Deadline: October 24, 2014

The Media-Smart Youth® Teen Leaders Program is designed for teens/young adults ages 15 to 20 who are interested in bringing the Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! ® program to their community. In return, teens receive leadership experience, community service hours, and recognition from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To help them succeed, the NIH provides training, ongoing assistance, and $1,000 for program expenses.

Learn more and apply at:

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards | Deadline: November 4, 2014

Students in grades 5-12 in the U.S. who have volunteered in the past 12 months are invited to apply for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award. 102 State Honorees (2 per state) will receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent for four days of recognition events May 2-5, 2015. The Top 10 youth will receive a $5,000 award, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for the nonprofit charitable organization of their choice.

Apply at

Karma for Cara Foundatin Micro-grants | Deadline: Rolling

The Karma for Cara Foundation is encouraging kids 18 and under to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities. Whether it is turning a vacant lot into a community garden, rebuilding a school playground or helping senior citizens get their homes ready for winter, they want to hear what project you’re passionate about. Karma for Cara Foundation is a non-profit founded by 21-year-old Cara Becker and her family while she was being treated for leukemia at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in October of 2012. Cara had always been involved in community service since a young age, and she and her family saw a tremendous need to support other patients who were going through the same challenging treatment. Tragically, Cara passed away in December 2012 from complications from leukemia. Yet her dream lives on through the vision and works of the foundation, her family, and friends who are inspired by her example of service and interest in helping others, even when she herself was in need of help.

Learn how you can get involved, including applying for a micro-grant:

VolunTEEN Nation International Service Project | Grants Deadline: Rolling

Students (ages 13-22) from the United States going abroad to volunteer or study in a developing country are encouraged to apply for an international service-learning mini-grant from VolunTEEN Nation. Grants are for up to $300 to create a service project in a developing country while you are visiting that country.Projects that foster good health, education, and economic self-sufficiency in developing countries are eligible.

Learn more:

World We Want Foundation Grants | Deadline: Rolling

The World We Want Foundation partners with different types of organizations and schools to form teams of youth and work with them to implement their Social Action Project. With the Social Action Project, teams identify a need for change within their community, research and develop a solution, and measure the impact of their project within the community. Through the World We Want Foundation, Young Global Citizens are able to showcase and raise funds for their project online and gain skills in leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking.

Learn more:

Teen Ink Contests | Deadlines: Rolling

Since 1989, the website/magazine/book publisher Teen Ink, has invited submssions from teen writers for inclusion in its magazine. It's a great opportunity to get your work published. Here are the current categories. Cover Art—Send your best photo or artwork and it could be published on the cover of Teen Ink magazine. Nonfiction—Two winners selected every month out of the following nonfiction sections: Nonfiction, Focus/Special Issue, College Essays, Heroes, Pride & Prejudice, Health, What Matters, and Sportsl Poetry—Are you the next Maya Angelou or e.e. cummings? Serious, funny, long or short - send us your poems today! One winner selected each month! Educator of the Year— Send your nominating essay today to recognize that amazing teacher in your life, and give him or her a chance to be in the spotlight. Fiction—Fairy tales, sci-fi, horror, romance - short stories galore! Entries of all kinds are accepted throughout the year. Winner selected twice yearly. Travel & Culture—Hiking in Yosemite. Strolling through Paris. Celebrating Chinese New Year. Describe your latest cultural adventures at home or abroad. Winners selected twice a year. Environment—Hybrid cars? Required recycling? Tell us about a problem facing the planet ... and abour your solutions and ideas. Winners selected annually. Community Service Awards—What do you do to make the world a better place? Tell us about it and win $100 for your favorite charity, plus a prize for you. Winners selected annually.

Learn more at: Grants | Deadline: Ongoing invites teens in the United States to apply for grants to fund their community service ideas across any one of 16 issue areas. You can apply for a grant, by visiting and for any issue area, selecting "See Ways To Help" followed by "Apply for a Grant". Applications are short - just 5,000 words or less - and should summarize: how the project will involve others, who it will help, what effect it's expected to have, when it will start and how the funds will be used. Grant requests are reviewed and responded to on a monthly basis.

Learn more at:

Scholastic Lexus Environmental Challenge | Deadline varies; see website.

The Scholastic Lexus Environmental Challenge program is designed to educate and empower students to take action to improve the environment. The program encourages middle and high school students to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities. Middle and high school teams comprised of 5 to 10 students and one teacher advisor are invited to participate in four initial challenges, each addressing a different environmental element -- land, water, air, and climate. Maximum Award: $75,000. Eligibility: students in grades 6-12 and their teachers. Deadline: varies.

Learn more at:

Shout Outs



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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator