The Carson Scholarship Program works with educators to recognize and reward young students who prioritize their education and use it to create solutions within their communities. With the belief that educators know their students best, the scholarship program begins with an educator nomination. A student must have a 3.75 or higher GPA. In addition, the student must be actively participating in a community service project(s). Once nominated, a potential scholar completes an application along with an essay and letter of recommendation. An independent panel of judges score the applications and select new winners. New Carson Scholars receive a $1,000 college scholarship (held in trust), an Olympic-sized medal, a certificate and an invitation to a celebration in their honor. At the celebration, families, peers, educators and community leaders are invited to recognize these young scholars and their remarkable achievements.
Each year, current scholars are encouraged to reapply for recognition. The repeat recognition affirms their commitment to persevering and continuing to develop the skills needed to be compassionate leaders in adulthood.
The program is merit-based with the belief that every child has the ability to develop their brain through a commitment to education. The service component of the award was established because it is implicit that being smart is not enough. Developing compassionate leadership is essential. The Carson Scholarship Program aims to cultivate an environment where learners become leaders.