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Department of State

Volunteer and National Service

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State
Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School students and AvidXchange employees

Scholarships for Student Volunteers

Scholarships for students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to volunteerism are available from a variety of sources.

These tips will help students at all levels of their education locate and apply for scholarships and awards dedicated to students actively engaged in community service.

Advice for All Applicants

Plan ahead and reserve time to conduct a full search of available scholarships. Scholarships are available from a wide variety of sources, including but not limited to government entities, businesses and non-profit organizations, and are awarded at the local, regional and national levels.

Be aware that not all applications are due at the end of the school year. Deadlines vary and fall at different times throughout the year.

Online Resources

Several websites are dedicated to providing information to students about scholarship opportunities.

  • lists numerous volunteer scholarships and awards offered throughout the country. Students complete a registration form, which the site uses to match opportunities with the students’ experience and areas of interest.
  • lists numerous awards and specifically addresses scholarships for volunteering and community service.
  • facilitates searches for scholarships, including those that recognize youth participation in community service.

Local Opportunities

Students who are involved in volunteering and community service should ask whether the organization where they perform their community service offers scholarships. It is possible that such organizations, whether hospitals and nursing homes, veterans groups, religious institutions, fraternal organizations or other community service organizations, may provide scholarships to recognize outstanding community service.

Colleges and Universities

Similarly, colleges and universities often offer scholarships for volunteerism. Be sure to inquire of any schools you are interested in.

  • The Bonner Scholars Program, which is located at numerous colleges and universities, allows students with demonstrated financial need to participate in community service as their work-study opportunity.

    • The Bonner Scholar Program supports individuals who otherwise could not afford to attend college because of financial need. In return for the financial support, the Bonner Scholars are expected to engage in 10 hours a week of community service during the school year (140 hours per semester) and 280 hours in the summer.

    • The Bonner Leader Program supports individuals interested in serving throughout their college experience. Bonner Leaders receive financial aid directly from their institution in the form of a scholarship and/or work-study.

Government Sponsored Programs

Each of the following programs is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Participants who complete their terms of service receive an education award and other benefits.

  • AmeriCorps State and National offers thousands of opportunities for youth to serve with local and national non-profit organizations and public agencies that help address needs in the areas of education, health, the environment, disaster services, veterans and economic opportunity. AmeriCorps members must be at least 17 years of age.

  • AmeriCorps VISTA members serve with community-based organizations to help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, have a college degree or a minimum of three years of work or volunteer experience.
  • AmeriCorps NCCC focuses on disaster preparedness and relief as well as other urgent community needs. NCCC builds teams of volunteers that are deployed to specific project sites. Participants serve full-time for 10 months and must be between 18 and 24 years of age.

Specific Scholarship Programs

The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students who are involved in their school, serve their communities, and demonstrate leadership skills. Your high school principal or guidance counselor must nominate you for this scholarship. Reach out to the appropriate people at your school to explore this.

The Disabled American Veterans Jesse Brown Scholarship recognizes individuals who are dedicated to serving veterans and have volunteered at least 100 hours.

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors young leaders who are between the ages of 8 and 18 who have “made a significant positive difference to people and our environment.”

The Heart of America Christopher Reeve Award is presented each year to a young person who has demonstrated “tremendous courage, compassion and caring in serving his or her community.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards was created in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor students in grades 5 through 12 for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.



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