Today, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation announced the call for nominations for its first-ever Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Organizing Award. This $50,000 award will honor a New England youth organizing group that has shown tremendous commitment to advancing student-centered learning or redesigning education to meet the needs of all students – specifically focused on public secondary education. The announcement of the youth organizing award was made by Delia Arellano-Weddleton at Nellie Mae’s Youth Leadership Institute held on the campus of UMass Amherst.
“Youth organizing is a key component of putting students at the center of their learning, encouraging them to insert their voices into school decision-making, engage with their communities outside the classroom and take ownership of their education,” said Nick Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “This helps build the leadership, knowledge and skills which serve students long after they graduate high school. We look forward to recognizing the crucial work these groups do throughout New England and gladly welcome the public’s recommendations for nominees.”
From August 12 – 26, the public is invited to submit nominations for this award through this link. Organizations eligible to participate must be youth organizing groups located in one or more of the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). Eligible organizations must be comprised of youth members who are at the high school level and exercise a youth-led model of organizing, demonstrate a commitment to advancing student-centered learning or redesigning public high school education to meet the needs of all students, and may not be nominated for or use award funds for lobbying efforts.
Finalists will be announced in September, with a public vote taking place during the month of November. The organization with the most votes will receive a $50,000 grant. These grant funds must be utilized to continue the organization’s work around advancing student-centered learning or redesigning education to meet the needs of all students.