Bezos Scholars are united by a shared passion for making a difference and a desire to lead change. Rich in diversity of experience, they seek new challenges and respond with creativity, courage, and commitment.
Selected as teams of rising high school seniors and educators, they spend the week immersed in learning and return home to inspire action in their schools, communities, and beyond.
Our African Scholars come from all over the continent, and join together at their school, the African Leadership Academy, in Johannesburg, South Africa. They cross the Atlantic Ocean to join with our U.S. Scholars, who come from all corners of the United States, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, in Aspen, Colorado.
The Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado is an eye-opening experience for Scholars. Few other places allow young people to engage directly with global thought leaders—from scientists and artists to policy makers and activists. The questions Scholars ask and the youthful energy they bring to the Festival is profound. The week is filled with hands-on leadership skill-building, Socratic seminars led by acclaimed moderators, and many inspirational experiences.
Upon returning home, Scholars are tasked with developing and executing their own community change project, known as a Local Ideas Festival (LIF). Students gain significant personal and team-based leadership skills through this project-based learning, which centers on their unique passion by addressing a true community need. With ongoing support from their educator and other school administration, students build a committed team to support their initiative, thereby impacting peers, their school, and the broader community for years to come.
After the year-long program, Bezos Scholars continue to support and inspire one another—sparking positive change in their communities. Most Scholars go on to pursue higher education, competitive internships, and successfully win prestigious scholarships and awards; one recently met the Queen of England! The Bezos Scholars Program continues to offer alumni internship opportunities, ongoing gatherings for good food and conversation, and more importantly, lifelong support in pursuit of their passions.