The 2019 Curtis Scholars Have Been Announced!

The 2019 Curtis Scholarship is an annual leadership development program to support youth ages 16-20 from underserved communities in the U.S. who embody the values of global citizenship.

Curtis Scholars will be invited to join a 10 day learning trip to South Africa, and one advocacy trip to Global Citizen Week Events in NYC.

Joined by members of the Global Citizen staff, the Curtis Scholars will explore social issues, innovative international organizations and cultural sites with a focus on poverty alleviation in Global Citizen's issue areas.

Our mission is to foster global citizenship through empowering youth from underrepresented groups with the skills and tools to become dynamic change-makers for local to global impact.


The Curtis Scholarship, conceived and funded by Global Citizen Ambassador and Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis through the Vitalogy Foundation, is an annual award to mentor and support Curtis Scholars. The Curtis Scholarship seeks to create, support, and equip a network of youth advocates and community leaders committed to local and global response on issues surrounding extreme poverty.



What is Global Citizen?

Global Citizen is a community of people like you. People who want to take action to end extreme poverty.

At Global Citizen we encourage people to learn and take action on our platform; those actions apply pressure on world leaders to make commitments around the issues associated with extreme poverty: gender equality, food security, education, the environment, global health, citizenship, and sanitation.

What does the judging criterion “Global Citizenship” mean? What else are the applications judged by?

Please reference the Global Citizen Manifesto for our definition of a Global Citizen. We are looking for motivated youth from under-resourced communities with limited travel history who want to become dynamic changemakers. The award winners will be selected by a panel of senior Global Citizen judges, and will be selected on the basis of talent, originality, writing/production ability, style, creativity and a commitment to social justice.

When does the application open? When does it close?

It opens for submission on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM EDT and closes on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted? 

You will be notified of your application status by Monday, June 3, 2019.

What are the the eligibility requirements for the Curtis Scholarship? Do I need specific academic requirements to be eligible?

No, there are no academic requirements to be eligible for the Curtis Scholarship.

Eligibility requirements are:

  • Ages 16-20 (by time of application)
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Limited past overseas travel
  • Family household income of under $85,000 USD
  • Those from minority and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Who should write a letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation should come from someone who can speak about your motivation, ability to work in a team and potential to be an agent of change. Preferred letters will be from a teacher/professor, school administrator, community leader, or colleague. Guidelines for Recommendation letter.

How does my recommender submit their letter of recommendation?

Recommenders will receive a unique email link to upload their letter once applicants have submitted their final application via the platform. We suggest that recommendation letters be written in advance of receiving the unique email link to ensure that all application pieces are received by the deadline of April 21st, 2019.

What if I turn 21 years two days before the application deadline?

If this is true for you, unfortunately, you would not be eligible. All applicants must be 16-20 years on the application deadline which is April 21st, 2019.

How can I upload videos for the application essay questions?

Only video URLs will be accepted. We suggest you upload your video to Youtube first. You can find instructions on how to upload a video to Youtube here. Once your video(s) are uploaded to Youtube, you’ll copy and paste the URL in to your application.

If am I not accepted, can I get feedback on my application?

Due to the high volume of applicants, we are not able to respond to questions about specific application feedback. We encourage all applicants to re-apply if not selected.

What costs are covered for this trip?

All costs associated associated with the program will be included:

  • Round trip airfare from within the U.S. to NYC for a Global Citizen-led Orientation (July 31st)
  • Round trip airfare from within the U.S. to South Africa (August 1 - 11) and New York (September 26-29)
  • All trip-related meals
  • Lodging and transportation
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses (at the GC’s discretion)
  • Passport fees and all travel costs associated with this trip

The goal of this program is to make this opportunity available to the most people as possible. However we are only able to provide airfare from within the U.S.. Please email if you have any questions or concerns about cost.

Do I require any immunizations or a passport for the trip?

If admitted, Global Citizen will help you get your passport and immunizations for the trip. More information will be provided upon admission into the Curtis Scholars Program.

How many scholars are participating in this program?

There will be between 6-10 Scholars. Four Global Citizen staff will oversee the program. Final staffing and numbers of attendees will be shared in the summer.

Will there be an orientation? ​

Yes there will be a one-day orientation for accepted students on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019. Airfare from within the U.S. will be provided to NYC for Scholars.

What should I expect to do as a participant in the Curtis Scholars Program? What can I expect to do on the trips? ​

Global Citizen will support the scholars in professional and personal development through a deeper understanding of complex social issues and prepare the Curtis Scholars to become advocates of social change.

Scholars will attend a 10-day learning trip to South Africa and an advocacy trip to New York for Global Citizen Week which requires flexibility and an open-mind. They will meet with a variety of organizations and businesses to learn about issues related to extreme poverty.

Outside of the trips, scholars will be expected to spend about 2 hours per week engaging in group and individual activities that focus on professional development, personal growth, advocacy, cultural exposure, social justice and equity. This will include group discussions and working to apply skills in local communities that will last until December 2019. This may include writing advocacy pieces and engaging in political and community activism. After completion, you will be able to earn letters of recommendation, receive guidance on future endeavors and stay connected with other Curtis Scholar alumni.

Who makes the Curtis Scholarship possible?​

The 2019 Curtis Scholarship was generously supported by Kelly Curtis, Vitalogy Foundation and Live Nation.

Where can I ask questions not covered here?​

If you have any questions that are not answered on the award’s information page or in these FAQs, please email Regretfully we will only be able to respond to questions not answered here.

For all questions please read our FAQs above or e-mail

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