Each spring, 17 exceptional high school juniors and a supportive educator from their school are selected as Bezos Scholars from around the U.S. and from the African Leadership Academy. After spending a week immersed in learning at the Aspen Ideas Festival, they return home to inspire action by developing a community change project that combines their passion with meeting a defined community need.
The Bezos Scholars Program has built a strong network of alumni and provides opportunities for them to connect, get inspired, and develop their leadership skills.
Scholars are teams made up of a student and their educator, who have demonstrated accomplishment, embraced new challenges, and aspire to lead change in their community. Successful applicants are current high school juniors that demonstrate academic rigor, maturity, curiosity, and leadership.
24 Student and educator Scholar teams from across the U.S. and a team of 6 from the African Leadership Academy are selected every year. After being immersed in learning at the Aspen Ideas Festival and engaging in year-long leadership development, Scholars inspire and ignite action in their schools, communities, and beyond.
Scholars teams are tasked with developing and executing their own community change project, known as a Local Ideas Festival (LIF). Scholars have taken on a diverse range of issues that are unique to their community and that met an investigated, proven need, such as clean water access, voter registration, STEM education, youth literacy, environmental justice, and health and wellness.