Transformative and regenerative for them—and you.
Along with each Bezos Scholar, we invite an educator from the student’s school to take part in our program. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to work one-on-one with an exceptional, engaged student for an academic year as you build your mentoring skills based on the latest scientific understanding of how adolescents learn, develop and lead.
Selected by students.
To be considered for the program, you must be nominated by a student that is applying. To be eligible, educator nominees must:
Be a current school staff member, in any position, OR staff member of a community organization that partners with and offers programming and/or resources to a student’s school.
Plan to return to work at the student's school/for the organization partnering with their school for the following academic year.
Be someone the student connects and works well with, who is supportive of student-led projects, and understands and can commit to program requirements.
Educators can only be a nominee for up to three students from the same school applying in the same year. Educator nominees CANNOT also be an applicant’s parent, guardian, or relative or their paid private tutor or counselor.
Strong educator nominee candidates also have the following characteristics
Love their school and community and are invested in stepping into their leadership to help students take action to make change for the greater good.
Have built trust and a good relationship with their student nominee. Ideally, they have already witnessed and/or supported the student’s leadership.
Are strong student advocates, allies, and mentors by being open, enthusiastic, and supportive of student-led projects.
Can efficiently balance when to step up and back to ensure students feel supported while being given the opportunity to lead.
Are invested in their own growth as an educator and recognize they already know a lot—and still have a lot to learn.
Understand program expectations and have the capacity to take on additional commitments.
Read more in our Application Guide on pages 6-8 to understand the educator Scholar’s role, who is eligible, what characteristics strong nominees have, and how to nominate a strong candidate. There are also tips for the educator nominee on what they should include on their nomination form to best support the student applicant.
A year-long investment in your student—and yourself.
You’ll get a lot from your Bezos Scholars experience—and you’ll give a lot, too. At the end of June, you’ll join your student on an incredible all-expenses-paid week-long trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, CO. Upon returning home, you’ll work alongside your student to support them in engaging community stakeholders to gather insight and ideas for Community Change Projects. The rest of the year is spent building a wider team while designing and implementing student-led projects. Be prepared to fully participate in a year-long program, spending an average of 10 - 20 hours per month on program-related activities including virtual sessions twice a month on Saturdays. Learn more about the experience and Scholar commitments and rewards.
An essential part of the program.
As an educator scholar, you’ll serve as a mentor, advocate and ally to student Scholars and student-led project teams. You’ll provide coaching and helpful feedback to assist students in setting feasible goals and action plans as they explore and design their Community Change Projects. In recognition of this role and commitment, we offer educators a $1200 honorarium for their service and time. Successful educator scholars remember that projects are student-led and directed, while having Scholars’ backs every step of the way.
This program has transformed the lives and motivational level for so many teachers. You have reinvigorated my passion for teaching.
Build your mentoring muscles.
Our program emphasizes measurable outcomes for students and educators alike. We aim for educator scholars to make gains in the following areas:
Advocacy for students
The ability to support, amplify the development of student voices, ideas and actions.
Capacity for fostering student leadership
Educators’ ability to believe in students’ success while helping to improve students’ leadership efficacy, resilience and sense of purpose.
Support of student agency
The ability to help students start and sustain a goal-directed effort.
Sense of belonging
The degree to which Educator Scholars feel a sense of affiliation and connection to the program and can instill a sense of belonging in others.
Writing the Student Recommendation
Once a student submits an online application, they will include their educator nominee’s contact information. The educator will receive an email inviting them to accept the student’s nomination by submitting a recommendation. We advise students use an educator’s personal and not school email in case school security settings block the email. The nomination form is confidential and not shared with the student. We estimate completing it will take 15-25 minutes, which must be done by the application deadline.
The online form asks educators to rate the student on the following selection criteria, compared to other students they have worked with throughout their career:
- Intellectual Curiosity: The applicant has the desire, willingness and drive to learn new things and explores information to think critically about answers to deeper questions. They have challenged their learning and have been accountable in school and other learning arenas.
- Demonstrated Leadership: While in high school, the applicant has been actively engaged as a collaborative leader in various ways and capacities, leading with empathy, compassion and perseverance.
- Readiness to Engage: The applicant has demonstrated solid leadership skills and is ready to further develop their skills in collaboration, problem-solving and civic impact. They are poised to take on the challenge of designing and implementing a student-led community change project.
The form also asks educators to complete the following short answer questions:
- Summarize why you are enthusiastically recommending this student for the program.
- Share one to two examples of how the student made a positive community impact that highlights their empathy, compassion and perseverance.
- From your honest assessment, share two areas for growth related to this student's leadership style and/or skills.