The Bezos Scholars Program inspires and challenges young people to act on their passions and collaborate to address community needs. The program begins with a week in Aspen, Colorado where Scholars participate in the Aspen Ideas Festival and leadership development curriculum. Upon returning home, Scholars are charged with creating a local community change project to raise awareness and mobilize action in their hometowns.

Spring 2018 Local Ideas Festivals June 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival May 2018 Scholars Announced February 2018 Application Due November 2017 Application Opens Beyond During Before
Beyond During Before Spring 2018 Local Ideas Festivals June 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival May 2018 Scholars Announced February 2018 Application Due November 2017 Application Opens


Students who meet eligibility criteria are invited to apply. The application opens in October and closes in February.

November 2017 — Application Opens

Who Participates?

  • Eligible students who are juniors during the 2017-2018 academic year
  • The principal of the student’s school
  • An educator from the student’s school
  • Two individuals who submit recommendations on behalf of the student

February 9, 2018 — Application Due

February – April 2018 — Scholar Selection

May 2018 — Scholars Announced

What’s Involved?

  • Completing the student portion of the application
  • School principal, an educator, and two individuals writing letters of recommendation must complete their portion of the application
  • Phone interviews with selected student finalists and nominated educators
  • Selection of the next Bezos Scholars

The Bezos Scholars Program rejuvenated me. It has reminded me that I must push past my perceived limits. I want to show people all I am capable of…and encourage them to do the same. – Niquan Dawson, 2015 Student Scholar


Students and their accompanying educators travel all-expenses-paid to Aspen, Colorado, to take part in the Aspen Ideas Festival and interactive leadership development curriculum. Scholars are immersed in plenaries, panel discussions, debates, and Scholars-only roundtables with some of the greatest minds of our time. This experience prepares them for the challenge ahead: creating sustainable community change projects, known as Local Ideas Festivals.

June 4 – 6, 2018 — Orientation Webinars

June 23 – 29, 2018 — Aspen Ideas Festival

Who Participates?

  • 12 U.S. students and their accompanying educators
  • 5 students and an educator from the African Leadership Academy
  • School administration and the broader community, recruited by Scholars to support their Local Ideas Festival

What’s Involved?

  • An all-expenses-paid week in Aspen, Colorado to participate in the program
  • Teams submit their Local Ideas Festival proposal and final reports
  • Participation in virtual trainings throughout the year
  • Teams host a Local Ideas Festival in their community

October 2017 — School Award Application Due

Spring 2018 — Local Ideas Festivals

What I found to be profound about the experience is not the promise of inspiration, but the magnitude and the depth one feels when the spark is lit. – Christopher Maly, 2015 Educator Scholar


As a Bezos Scholar, you join an ever-expanding community. Scholars enjoy continued opportunities for internships, engagement with thought-leaders, professional development, and the occasional reunion party!

Who Participates?

  • Alumni
  • Partners of the Bezos Scholars Program and Bezos Family Foundation

What’s Involved?

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While in Aspen, there were three concepts that were thrown around that have stayed with me until this day. I should lead creatively, collaborate radically, and embrace disruptive ideas. – Nicholas Okafor, 2011 Student Scholar