7 Tips for Submitting Your Bezos Scholar Program Application

By Melissa Galbraith, Communications Specialist, Bezos Family Foundation

7 mins

7 Tips for Submitting Your Bezos Scholar Program Application

The Bezos Scholars Program application deadline is fast approaching! For those of you who are still working on your application, who have questions, or who still need to start your application try these helpful tips from Bezos Scholars and educators who’ve been through the process.

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2017 Scholars at Aspen Ideas Festival

1. Be passionate and curious

We want to hear what drives your passions and curiosity. Showcase your personality in your application! What drives you, and why this program is appealing to you?

“When we interview applicants that are really authentic in talking about the things that motivate them and get them excited about making positive change in their communities and the world, that leaves a great impression.” shares Nicole Hanson, Bezos Scholars Program Manager.

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2016 Scholar Debora Gonzalez with her FlyiFest Local Ideas Festival group

2. Demonstrate leadership

“A program like this gives you the space to think about how the leadership and service that you’re doing (or want to do) in your community factor in to who you are as a person, a learner, and a thinker.” - 2015 Scholar Griffin Hamstead

As a Bezos Scholar, you’ll identify a need and facilitate a change project known as a Local Ideas Festival in your community. Because of this, we’d like to see that you’ve demonstrated some sort of leadership in your school or community. Include school club office positions, times you’ve worked on community needs, worked with your church or other type of group, sports leadership, or family service projects. Big or small, we want to hear about the leadership you’ve already completed and how you want to continue to be a leader.

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2017 Scholars at Aspen Ideas Festival

3. A good fit for you

Bezos Scholars Program applications are open to public high school juniors, and the year-long scholarship and leadership opportunity runs during your senior year of high school. That can be a busy time! Review the application and see if it reflects your views on service, leadership, and available time commitment. Along with attending a week-long immersive leadership camp at the Aspen Ideas Festival, you need to be available throughout the year for monthly webinars, check-in calls, and email during your year as a Bezos Scholar.

4. Don’t be intimidated

We ask a lot of you. We’re looking for students who want to engage the world creatively to find new solutions for local and global problems, which is why there are two portions to the application.

In the first part of your application we want to see a demonstrated interest in pursuing higher education— ACT, SAT or ACT Aspire scores. We’re not so much looking at your scores, as the fact that you’re interested in continuing your education after high school. Along with test scores, we want to see transcripts from your current or previous advanced placement, international baccalaureate, or college level courses.

In the second part of the application, we want to hear from your supporters and see how others view the work you’re doing. To do this, we ask you to submit two (2) letters of recommendation, a letter of support from your school principal, and to identify an educator who will apply with you for the year-long Bezos Scholars Program.

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2016 Scholar Ana Acevedo and educator Camille Edwards-Thomas at their Local Ideas Festival Unraveling Gender

5. Identify an educator you’re excited to work with closely

Before choosing an educator, talk with your teachers, principals, or counselors to see who would be a good fit for you to work with throughout the year. Discuss the time commitment of participating in the leadership camp in Aspen as well as webinars and check-in calls throughout the coming year. Don’t forget to discuss your interest in the program and how it will help your growth as a leader! This is a big commitment for both of you and we want you to succeed by finding the best match possible.

2016 educator Marcos Silva shares, “I jumped on board right away because my student’s interest in the program and the work he wanted to do through this opportunity was something I was interested in when I was a classroom teacher. For me, the application process just made sense. It was almost an extension of my classroom going on to the community.”

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Students attending 2016 Scholar Michael Mireles's Local Ideas Festival STXi Festival

6. Be professional

We want you to put your best foot forward and for your application to stand out. One of the easiest ways to do this is to complete your application professionally by using capitalization, proper punctuation, and spell checking your work. We also recommend having an educator, peer, or adult review your application prior to submission.

7. Submit your completed application by the deadline

Once everything is complete, submit your application! We cannot accept late applications.