Here at The Tree Center, we believe that there’s more to a well-rounded student than showing up and getting good grades. Whether you realize it or not, each one of you is creative in your own unique way: some of you have a blog; others have an eye for curating and documenting life in Instagram photos; and still others find imaginative ways to solve problems in their public and private lives. Creativity is the air each one of us breathes, but too often we get concerned with grades and tests that we forget that imagination is our natural problem solver.
One way to showcase your creativity is to innovate. This can be in the form of solving a problem in nature, by designing something that helps others solve a problem, or by enhancing our relationship with whatever matters to us.
Innovation is unique in that it brings together our technical skills, with our creativity, as well as our hopes for a better world. It also provides an excellent opportunity for gaining real world, working experience in a chosen field. It also gives students the chance to connect with adults outside of their circle who may be able to help them get into their preferred college or get an internship. At the end of the day, innovation forces people to look at the bigger picture, which is paramount to preparation for college and for life.
- Must currently be enrolled as a high school or college/university student within the United States.
- Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (or the equivalent).
- Must be an American citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid student visa.
- Must have designed an innovative project that makes a difference in the lives of others (This could be a website, series of blogs, an app, fundraising event, etc.)
- Must submit an essay describing the goal of the particular project and provide supporting documentation.
- The essay, idea, or creation must be the applicant’s original work.
- All submissions must be uploaded no later than 11:59 pm PST on the 20th of last month of each quarter (Q1: March 20th, Q2: June 20th, Q3: September 20th, Q4: December 20th). The submission window closes on the 21st of the final month of each quarter and will reopen on the 1st of each quarter at 8:00 a.m (Q1: January 1st, Q2: April 1st: Q3: July 1st, Q4: October 1st).
Upload an essay, letter of recommendation, and photo of yourself before submitting the application by clicking the Upload Scholarship Documents button and uploading files all at once. All of the following documents must be included:
- Essay – The essay should describe the goal of the particular project and provide the link to access the content such as the blog, app, etc. (if applicable).
- Letter of Recommendation – The letter should evaluate the quality of the work.
- Your Photo – The photo should be one taken during project execution.
Example Of Past Winners
While we here at The Tree Center are focused on projects that have a positive impact on our environment, we do not like to pigeonhole ourselves or discourage prospective applicants from submitting projects that are ‘outside the box.’ Environmental impact does not have to be restricted to solely plants, trees, aquaculture and agriculture – although that is the majority of our submissions. We’ve had submissions with projects that have had a positive environmental impact in creative ways; such as partnering with a local food co-op to not only provide organic produce to a nursing home, but to promote local, organic farming as well as reducing the amount of grocery trips in the gas-guzzling, CO2 emitting van. Feel free to submit your creative, outside the box projects as we are very open-minded. Below are a few examples of past winners’ submissions:
- Use of reclaimed materials to promote oyster culture
- The controversial benefits of using non-native tree species for forest restoration
- Creation of neighborhood composting co-op
- Locally grown leyland cypress trees donated to large commercial project to provide privacy for adjacent residents as well as wind break
To begin the application process please submit your information via the form below. Please zip your Essay, Letter of Recommendation and Photograph into one file and upload it with your identifying information:
Application Submission Form
Rules & Regulations
The Tree Center 2016 Official Scholarship Rules & Regulations
The winning project will be judged on the basis of its creativity, innovation, and user experience. Some of the questions that will guide judges’ selection are the following: Does the project solve a problem, and if so, how persuasively does the applicant present his or her point of view? Does the project aim for originality, or does it repeat what’s already available?
On the 1st of the first month of each quarter, all entries will be reviewed by the panel of three judges.
The applicant of the winning project will receive a one-time scholarship of $500, which may be applied to the following school-related expenses: tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board. Scholarship funds are provided by The Tree Center and will be paid via mail to the winning applicant.
Submission Of Materials
All entries must be entered using the official Tree Center Scholarship submission form, which can be accessed above. No other forms of submission will be accepted. All essays must be written in English, and poorly composed submissions will be disqualified. Submissions must be uploaded in either a Microsoft Word or PDF format. Personal information submitted will be used solely for the purpose of awarding the scholarship and to announce the winner on the The Tree Center’s website. The Tree Center reserves the right to publish content from the submitted essays themselves.
Current Tree Center employees or their immediate family members are not eligible to apply. Please read additional criteria listed above.
The Tree Center does not use the information provided in the scholarship application to create listings. If the winner fails to contact The Tree Center by the target date or to follow all submission and criteria rules, The Tree Center reserves the right to award the scholarship. The Tree Center will feature the pictures of all winners together with the state in which the applicant attends school.