FAQs, Details, & Submission Links

Design Thinking: Background & Examples

Our design thinking project requirements will be modeled after the Launch Cycle below. Watch the video for additional background.

via John Spencer

Examples & support:

Our scholarship committee, which consists of employees at Honors Graduation, will work to share personal applications with design thinking and community improvement on our Instagram page. Follow us at @honorsgradu.


View our checklist, which includes the details of our expectations for your community improvement project.

OPTIONAL: Fill out a strategy plan/ feedback form for additional guidance and suggestions. Deadline: March 3rd, 2025. Our email is always open for questions and feedback even beyond the strategy plan deadline date

Submission Links

Submit your final project application by April 7, 2025, 11:59 pm MST

Regardless of whether or not you fill out the strategy plan form, anyone who has been working on a design thinking project to build up their community is welcome to apply for our scholarship. If you have any questions regarding the application or are seeking feedback, you can email scholarship@honorsgraduation.com for assistance.


Can my community building project be based off an existing project I’m doing for school or an extracurricular program (ie, senior thesis project, Eagle scout project, etc)?

Yes, but make sure you meet all of our scholarship requirements and that it is a current working project, not something accomplished in the past and hasn’t been worked on over a long period of time. 

What exactly is a prototype? 

A prototype is meant to showcase a specific action you have taken or an object/website you have created as a result of your questions & research. It should not be an essay or video of you explaining your project. Examples of previous awardees’ prototypes included (see more on their work here):

  • the website of an organization founded by the student
  • photos from a music mentoring program provided by the student
  • a detailed blueprint of alternative housing created by the student
  • a paper “phone” booklet the student created to help senior citizens learn digital skills
  • an object designed to help blind people navigate their surroundings via audio signals

See additional prototype examples from community projects conducted by our past scholarship chair here & here.

Can I work with an existing community organization?

While students should be the primary planners and executors of their plans, we know that community organizations can be valuable collaborative resources for successful projects. If you collaborate with any existing community organizations, you will need to submit the name of the organization along with the name/email address of a supervisor at the community to verify that you are and have been the primary planner and executor of your project (space for this will be included in the submission form). 

Can I work with a group of students, sharing the scholarship award if selected?

You may work in a group of up to 3 students. We recognize that collaboration with peers may lend itself very naturally to certain projects. If selected, your scholarship award will be divided evenly among the group, and all names will appear with the project on our past winners’ page. The group should take measures to ensure each participant is an equal planner and executor of the project. Honors Graduation and HonorsGradU are not held responsible for disputes on the distribution of effort; disputes may lead to disqualification. 

How soon will I receive feedback on my Brainstorming forms?

This will depend on the volume we receive, but our goal is to have that feedback back to you within 2 weeks. And keep in mind that “the early bird gets the worm;” if you submit before the deadline, not only will you likely get feedback much earlier, but you will give yourself more time to work on your final submission.

Are there restrictions for my prototype?

Violence, nudity, and other explicit content will not be accepted.

How soon will I hear back on the winners after the deadline?

This will depend on the volume of entries we receive, but our goal is to have awardees notified by May 1, 2025.

What format should my video(s) Be?

Upload your video to YouTube or Google Drive and share with us the link in the reflection submission form. Please check share setting when sharing the link with us.

What are you looking for in final submissions?

1) The quality & quantity of work already completed
2) The potential for future long-term impact
3) General community relevance of the project
Finalists may also be asked for proposals on how they would use the $5,000 grant if selected as the top recipient, and the more specific those plans, the better (especially if they involve plans to seek additional funding or maximize the $5,000 toward your project in the long term)

Other helpful posts:

Scholarship Reminder! Add Pictures to Your Submission

Scholarship Reminder! Video Requirements

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto