Cranford, NJ – American Atheists wants to celebrate student activism by awarding scholarships to students who demonstrate atheist activists in their communities and schools.
What are the Founders' Scholarships?
The Founders' Scholarships grant a first-place award of $2,000 and runner-up award of $1,000 to atheist students going to college. The awards are given every year at the American Atheists National Convention. The Founders' Scholarship program was founded by Life Members:
- Barbara J. Baldock
- Dr. Phillip Butler
- Rice O'Dell
- Lillian B. Ramsden
- Irving Yablon.
American Atheists is proud to also award a $1,000 scholarship for LGBT atheist activism.
Who can enter?
The scholarships can be used by current college students or by high school students entering college the upcoming year. Applicants must be atheists and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (in academic subjects) or better. Race, gender, sexual orientation, political views, etc., are never taken into consideration – applicants are judged based on their actions as atheists.
You do not have to be a member of American Atheists to apply for a scholarship, but you do have to be a member to accept a scholarship if you win. All applicants are offered a free one year membership to American Atheists.
How are the recipients chosen?
American Atheists is an organization of activists, so our scholarships are awarded based on activism. Qualified applicants must submit an entry form and any and all information or evidence they have of their activism for the previous year. Examples include:
- Letters printed in newspapers.
- Letter to politicians about key issues with the replies from those politicians.
- Letters of testimonials from teachers, friends, or other activists.
- Evidence that you sponsor an Atheist TV show, podcast, blog, etc.
- Student essays.
While all activism is important and considered, special attention is given to those students who show activism specifically in their schools, such as starting an atheist group or fighting against violations of the separation of church and state within their school.
Please note that merely writing an essay will not win you the scholarship. This is about activism, and your essay should be about your activism for the cause of atheist civil liberties, the separation of church and state, or presenting a positive view of atheism to the general public and your fellow students and faculty.
Show proof, include clippings, printouts, copies of letters, etc. Writing well is important, but we will accept a poorly written essay about activism over a well-written essay about nothing any day.
Violent or vandalistic behavior is not tolerated and will result in immediate disqualification.
Who decides the winners?
The winners will be chosen by the Managing Director, the President, and/or the delegates they choose who are directors and/or officers of American Atheists.
How to enter:
Winning is hard, but entering is easy. Simply fill out the entry form (download it below) and submit it along with a 500- to 1,000-word essay, and all supporting documentation via email (email@example.com) by February 1st of each year. Awardees will be notified by February 28th. For more information, please contact Amanda Knief or by calling our office at (908) 276-7300.
Good luck! May the best activist win!
A scoring rubric is used to identify and assign points for evidence of activism as outlined above. American Atheists reserves the right to choose the recipients of the scholarships as we see fit. We also reserve the right to withdraw the scholarships after they are announced but before they are paid if we see substantial evidence of violent or otherwise undesirable behavior in the recipients. A runner-up may also be chosen in case the winners are deemed no longer worthy. Finally, while we will try to verify all claims made by applicants, we cannot and will not be held responsible if we are deceived in any way.
Entry Application here.
From the American Atheists, Inc. website