8 Most Excellent Opportunities for Youth

We’ve noted down the best challenges and opportunities for youth which include some fabulous scholarships, great volunteer programs and chances to really make a difference.

Opportunities for Youth
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Check the eligibility requirements to be sure to you can make the most of the opportunity!


The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship program recognizes student innovation and youth led solutions to fight hunger in America. These young people are creating awareness and mobilizing peers in their communities to be catalysts for change.

The scholarship awardees comprise a wide variety of students who are recognized at the national and regional level and hail from across the country.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has awarded over $800,000 in grants and scholarships.

The scholarship is named for the Foundation’s founder and former president, Steve Brady, who was an unstoppable champion in the fight to end hunger.

Applicant requirements:

  1. All applicants must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution (kindergarten through graduate school) in the United States. All applicants must be ages 5-25.
  2. All applicants must have demonstrated on-going commitment to their community by performing unpaid volunteer services impacting hunger in the United States within the last 12 months.
  3. All applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States who reside in the contiguous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii only.

The annual application period is October 5-December 5. For more information on the scheme, click here.

2. National YoungArts Foundation

YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12.

Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, YoungArts winners receive financial awards, creative and professional development experiences working with renowned mentors, and become eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

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Joining a 20,000-strong alumni community, YoungArts award winners form a rich network of peers that provides support and opportunities for youth throughout artists’ careers.

Programs for winners:

  • National YoungArts Week: During this intensive program, finalists across 10 artistic disciplines participate in master classes and workshops with internationally recognized leaders in their fields.
  • Presidential Scholars Program: YoungArts winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.
  • Additional Programs: YoungArts award winners are eligible for exclusive opportunities for youth including: a wide range of creative development support, and access to YoungArts Post—a private, online portal for YoungArts artists to connect, share their work and discover new opportunities.

YoungArts mentors are some of the most distinguished and accomplished artists in their fields like Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jeanine Tesori, Frank Gehry, José Parlá, Mickalene Thomas, Wynton Marsalis and Salman Rushdie.

They support YoungArts’ mission to cultivate and inspire the next generation of artists by graciously lending their time and expertise to work with YoungArts participants in each of the ten disciplines.

For more information on the scheme, click here.

3. We R Native Community Service Mini Grant

We R Native Youth Community Service Mini-Grants provide funding for American Indian and Alaska Native youth, 13-21 years old, with an adult mentor to support community service projects.

Project ideas include:

  • Health fairs
  • 5 K walk/run
  • National health observances such as World No Tobacco Day, National HIV Testing Day, National Safety Month, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Eligible applicants are American Indian and Alaska Native youth, 13-21 years old, with an adult mentor.

Check out the We R Native website to see more information on We R Native Community Service Mini Grant.

4. CyberCorps Scholarship for Service

The Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program is designed to recruit and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of Federal, State, local, and tribal government.

This program provides scholarships for cybersecurity undergraduate and graduate (MS or PhD) education funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In return for the financial support, recipients must agree to work for the U.S. Government after graduation in a cybersecurity-related position, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners with NSF and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide institutions with funding towards scholarships for cybersecurity-related degree programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities.

The SFS Program includes:

  • Academic-year stipends of $25,000 per year for undergraduate students and $34,000 per year for graduate students
  • Participation in virtual and in-person job fairs in Washington, D.C.
  • Post-graduation government service requirement for a period equivalent to the length of scholarship
  • Professional allowance of $6,000 for SFS Job Fair and other travel, professional certification, etc.
  • Tuition and education related fees (does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or parking)
  • Up to 3 years of support for undergraduate and graduate (MS or PhD) education

For more information about the program, click here.

5. Educational and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program

Are you currently in or have been in foster care and need help paying for college or career school?

If so, you might be interested to know that the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program helps current and former foster care youth through the Educational and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program.

ETVs are grants, funded by the federal government and administered by the states, awarded to eligible current and former foster youth to help pay for college, career school, or training.

The ETV Program is intended to serve:

  • youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18,
  • youth who were adopted or under kinship guardianship at age 16 or older, and
  • young adults ages 18–21 who have aged out of the foster care system.

Students can get up to $5,000 per academic year based on cost of attendance and available funds.

For more information, click here.

6. VA Student Volunteer Program

The James H. Parke Memorial Youth Scholarship Award provides scholarship opportunities for youth who volunteer at VA medical centers (your local VA health care Voluntary Service staff has current nomination criteria).

Student volunteers are liaisons with their communities and provide a valuable element of caring for Veterans.

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The VA Voluntary Service program offers students excellent opportunities for:

  • exploring health care career options;
  • gaining experience in a health care environment;
  • learning new skills; making new friends;
  • qualifying to be nominated for multiple college scholarships and the James H. Parke Memorial college scholarship.

There are many opportunities for youth to explore in the Student Volunteer Program. Here are just a few of the services and specialties available to student volunteers:

  1. Audiology and Speech Pathology
  2. Extended Care
  3. Information Technology
  4. Laboratory Medicine Pharmacy
  5. Medical Administration
  6. Medical Illustration
  7. Nursing
  8. Nutrition and Food Service
  9. Occupational Therapy
  10. Outpatient/Ambulatory Care Activities
  11. Patient Escort
  12. Physical Therapy
  13. Research
  14. Social Work

Click here for further information.

7. AIGC Highe Education Scholarships

American Indian Graduate Center offers more than 20 scholarships and fellowships that fund undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

To be eligible for the scholarships, students must be seeking a full-time degree at a nationally or regionally accredited higher education institution in the United States.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate Tribal affiliation through the submission of a Tribal Eligibility Certificate. Each opportunity has specific affiliation requirements, so review the specific criteria that you are applying for to ensure eligibility.

The TEC is due on the day the application is due. Individuals applying for multiple opportunities should submit just one TEC to American Indian Graduate Center.

Click here to apply for free.

8. United Negro College Fund Scholarships

UNCF manages various scholarship programs and each program has its own eligibility criteria, open/close dates and required documentation.

These scholarships are including:

  • Black Female moving Forward (BFF) in Computing
  • Intel Scholarship
  • CVS Pharmacy, Inc: Pharmacy Scholarship
  • Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation Scholarship
  • PSEG Foundation Scholarship
  • Southwest Indiana Scholarship

To apply for a UNCF scholarship, you must apply through the on-line application process.

As many of the UNCF scholarships require that the scholarship recipient apply for Federal Student Aid, it is recommended that applicants complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you need help figuring out how you should complete it, read our most detailed step-by-step guide of it.

Final thoughts

Receiving any of these opportunities for youth is a great way for you to learn about a particular subject, learn new projects, and methods in order to better you. They can help you achieve success both in your academic and non-academic environment by putting these skills into practice.

If you’re looking for more excellent opportunities, don’t forget to check out this internship with WHO too.

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