Student Empowerment Grant Awards

What We Are Looking For: Student-centered Charter Schools

Charter Schools who excel in giving students the tools they need to create their own futures are candidates for this grant. Not only the “book learning” knowledge and academics, but also the necessary executive functioning and practical skills that will be most helpful for them to succeed.

The ideal Student Empowerment IMPACT school will be dedicated to fostering each student’s path to success and have a host of student-provided success stories to share.


Who We Are Looking For:

The ideal leader is a model of integrity, is generous with nurturing and developing other leaders, and who understands that great education is truly measured in the success and happiness of each student.


General Criteria:

1. IMPACT: Are there measurable results? Is the IMPACT diverse and deep?

2. PROGRAM: Is the program inclusive, effective, and focused.

3. LEADERSHIP: Can the leader articulate the need and impact of the effort? Is the leader a model of integrity and commitment?

4. GROWTH: Is the program/effort sustainable? Are the future plans inspirational?

5. SUPPORT: Is there third-party research, votes, and testimonial support for the effort from a variety of sources (including students)?

Read our blog: Student Empowerment: Opening the Door for Students to Lead the Way

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Student Empowerment
Grant Awards

One $20,000 grant &
Two $10,000 grants

Charter schools that empower students to be creators of their own futures by providing effective support and programs for each individual student are candidates.

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Community Engagement
Grant Awards

One $20,000 grant &
Two $10,000 grants

Charter schools that engage local communities in partnership and shared purpose to make their corner of the world a better place are ideal candidates.

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Education Innovation
Grant Awards

One $20,000 grant &
Two $10,000 grants

Charter schools that play outside “the box” and take risks to best prepare the students of today for the world of tomorrow.

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Model Charter
Grant Awards

One $20,000 grant &
Two $10,000 grants

Charter schools and small charter networks that have perfected their model and demonstrated long-term impact on their students and communities.

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Shellie-Ann Braswell
“Shine Brighter” Award

One $5,000 grant 

Award named in honor of a dedicated volunteer leader who led with love and made everything around her shine brighter. This award recognizes one charter school volunteer who embody the spirit and is making memories for charter school families to cherish.

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A way to recognize and support charter schools who are excelling in advancing education through community engagement, student empowerment, and educational innovation, and schools who are proven sustainable charter school models. We are also recognizing a charter school volunteer who has gone above-and-beyond in creating memories for students and a culture of proactive service in the school community.

Our goal is to distribute 13 Grants in total:


IMPACT AWARDS for Charter Schools:

Community Engagement: One $20,000 grant award winner. Two $10,000 finalist grants.

Student Empowerment: One $20,000 grant award winner. Two $10,000 finalist grants.

Educational Innovation: One $20,000 grant award winner. Two $10,000 finalist grants.

Model Charter School: One $20,000 grant award winner. Two $10,000 finalist grants.


IMPACT AWARD for Individual Charter School Volunteer:

Shellie-Ann Braswell “Shine Brighter” Charter Volunteer Award: One $5,000 grant.

We are also providing finalists an expense-paid trip to D.C. for our Building Hope Impact Summit & Awards to connect and collaborate with fellow charter leaders and leaders in the charter education space through programming dedicated to digging deep into what makes charter schools successful and how to level-up the IMPACT of the work.

Charter schools who have been operating for at least one school year and are in good standing with their districts/authorizers are eligible for IMPACT Grants. Only one award category can be applied for by a single charter school location for Student Empowerment, Community Engagement, and Educational Innovation. The Model Charter School award requirements are for schools who have at least achieved their first charter renewal, and small networks of schools (under 10 locations) may apply as a group. Charter school volunteers who have at least one year of service at a school may apply for the Shellie-Ann Braswell Shine Brighter Award.

No. However, you may nominate a volunteer from your school for the Shine Brighter Award.

Yes. Please visit our site for the online form. After your nomination, we will send an email to the school or individual with an invitation to formally apply.

You may not nominate yourself for the individual Shine Brighter Award. Schools can directly apply for grants.

Our IMPACT Ambassadors will conduct initial rounds of vetting applicants for eligibility, and then through a baseline scoring rubric to evaluate submitted materials on Impact, Program, Leadership, Growth, and Support to provide to the Selection Committee. Our Selection Committee, comprised of BH Board of Directors members, BH Leadership, Sponsors, and other Educational Leaders, and former Grant Award winners, will review applications, conduct interviews via Zoom, and select in-person school visits, as well review of a final presentation at the BH IMPACT Summit & Awards. Applicant Semi-Finalists and Finalists will be announced on our site and in social channels. Final Award Selection and Grants will be determined at the Summit. Finalist applicants will be expected to deliver a 10-minute IMPACT Talk at the Summit to the Selection Committee to help determine final grant awards

Our Grants will be evaluated on Impact, Program, Leadership, Growth, and Support. More details are here (make the link jump to a detail page) and ongoing Q&A will be available at BHConnect (need the link to the board).

Save the dates of May 1-5. Finalists will have an expense-paid trip to DC for the deep-dive workshops, networking, sharing and learning experience.

Semi-finalists will be invited to participate in the in-person sessions. We will also film the sessions for all applicants to benefit virtually from the knowledge-share and brainstorms that can help all charter schools level-up. Tickets to the Awards Dinner will also be made available for purchase.

November 30, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. EST

Inaugural Sponsors

Applications are now closed for the 2022-2023 award year.

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