What We Are Looking For: Charter School Volunteers

A volunteer who has been an integral part of the growth, culture, and IMPACT a charter school has on its students, family, and community is who we look to celebrate with this grant. These PTO Presidents, Community Leaders, and classroom volunteers give their time, skills, and love to supporting students in achieving their goals and having memorable experiences. Charter School volunteers often take even greater roles as Board of Directors leaders and fundraising champions.


Who We Are Looking For:

The ideal Shellie-Ann Braswell “Shine Brighter” Award IMPACT leader will lead with love and have demonstrated their ability to effectively IMPACT the students, families, and charter school culture.


General Criteria:

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

2. PROGRAM: Did the volunteer launch or support an existing program, event, or initiative? Is it sustainable and inclusive?

3. LEADERSHIP: Is this volunteer leading with love and integrity? Can the leader articulate the need and impact of the effort?

4. GROWTH: Does the leader have a plan for growth for their efforts and a method of inspiring, recruiting, and/or training others to volunteer?

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

“When a person of light leaves the world, their light remains to teach others to shine even brighter.”

Read our blog: Shine Brighter: The Importance of Leading with the Heart

Questions? Sign up for our charter communications platform BH Connect for the latest information.

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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.

Learn More >>

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.

Learn More >>


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.

Learn More >>

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.

Learn More >>


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 leading the charter school in overall excellence. 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 grant award winners.

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

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

S. Joseph Bruno Charter Leadership Award: One $20,000 grant award winner. Two $10,000 grant award winners.

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

We are also providing finalists an expense-paid trip to Miami, FL 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 S. Joseph Bruno award Charter School Leadership award is for schools who have at least achieved their first charter renewal, and small networks of schools (under 10 locations). 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

After your nomination, we will send an email to the 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. Ongoing Q&A will be available at BHConnect.

On April 24 & 25, be ready to bring your special sauce to Miami, so we can share best practices, brainstorm creative solutions, and connect with other amazing charter school leaders and advocates from across the country to level-up education.

This Summit is a chance to work with other thought-and-action leaders to not only learn about best strategies, but also to collaborate on practical solutions for your specific school.

Our slate of programming includes over 30 sessions, in multiple formats, dedicated networking space with other leaders, authorizers, select business partners, and associations. Our focus is what helps charter leaders grow the impact of their schools on their communities, families, and students.

You do not have to apply for a grant to participate in the summit. All charter leaders are encouraged to join the Summit & Awards Gala evening to connect, collaborate, and celebrate!

Tickets will be available as of October 23rd  2023. You can purchase tickets here:

Please note, quantities are limited, so you are encouraged to register early.

November 30, 2023 by 11:59 p.m. EST.