Make a Difference Award
The Make a Difference Award recognizes middle and high school students across Southwest Florida who make outstanding contributions of service to their community. The award provides up to $1000 in scholarship funds for selected applicants.
Founded over two decades ago upon the belief that the highest form of achievement is to do well by doing good, the Make a Difference Award is an expression of our commitment to making Southwest Florida more kind, fair, and just. Since the scholarship was established in 1998, over 200 middle and high school volunteers have been recognized and rewarded for their tireless work to make our area a better place. We know that the volunteerism acknowledged through the Make a Difference program is crucial to shaping a brighter tomorrow across Southwest Florida, and we want to thank every winner—past and future—for their tremendous efforts.
The Make a Difference Award recognizes students in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee counties who engage in volunteer work or community service above and beyond their school’s requirements.
If you are a parent, friend, teacher, or guidance counselor with an exceptional student who makes a difference in their community, please share this scholarship opportunity with them.
Financial awards through the Make a Difference program are awarded as follows to one student from every middle and high school that submits a minimum of three applications during a single school year:
- $1000 for the Grand Prize Winner
- $250 for the winner of each high school with at least 3 applicants
- $100 for the winner of each middle school with at least 3 applicants
- Complete an online application or downloadable application. Be sure to include contact information, academic honors, and non-academic community achievements and/or volunteer work.
- Attach a current high school transcript.
- Attach a thoughtful, well-written essay in which the student describes their work helping others in our community. The focus should be on self-directed community service that exceeds the school’s minimum requirements. The essay must meet the following formatting criteria:
- 1.25-inch margins on all sides
- PDF or .docx formats preferred
- 300-word minimum
- Student’s full name, grade, and school name visible on each page