Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program

Scholarship Value: $2,500
Awards Available: 10

Our program is one of the nation’s only national scholarship programs specifically serving youth that have experienced homelessness. The goal of our program is to provide financial assistance and staff and peer support to ensure that you are successful in getting to and through higher education and into the workforce.

Due by 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time) on November 24, 2023. Please provide the requested information and note that there are three required documents: a transcript, personal essay, and at least one letter of recommendation. Students who have not reached their 20th birthday by Nov. 24, 2003, and who are entering college for the first time in 2024 may apply (Students who have college credit through high school programs are eligible). Applicants may be high school seniors, students enrolled in a GED or other alternative education programs, or recent high school graduates/GED recipients. Undocumented students who meet these criteria are eligible.

Eligibility Information

  • Do you currently reside within the United States of America?
  • Were you born on or after November 24, 2003? (required)
  • Have you experienced homelessness in the last six years?

Under the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This specifically includes children and youth whose living situations fall into one of the categories below.

  1. Temporarily Staying with Other People
  2. Staying in Emergency or Transitional Shelters
  3. Staying in Motels, Campgrounds, Cars, Parks, Abandoned Buildings, Bus or Train Stations, or any Public or Private Place not Designed for Humans to Live in
  4. Staying in Substandard Housing

Scholarship Essay

Please upload an essay (1,000 words max) that answers all three of the topics below:

  1. Your experience of homelessness and how it relates to your life and education.
  2. Your commitment to education during your experience of homelessness.
  3. Your desire to attend college

Essay should be in a word or pdf format.

PLEASE NOTE: If your essay does not answer the three questions above, we will be unable to consider you for the scholarship.

Letters of Recommendation

You will need to provide at least one and a maximum of three letters of recommendation from someone in your life, such as a teacher, guidance counselor, mentor, coach, etc. 

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