For DonorsFor Applicants

Dr. Robert M. Fleisher Liberty and Prosperity Award

2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Apr 15, 2024
Winners Announced
May 15, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
New Jersey resident
Participated in student government or student affairs in high school

Students who strive to be involved in their schools will go on to be active and influential members of society.

Youth who seek out roles in student government demonstrate initiative, thoughtfulness, and responsibility, learning many lessons from their involvement that will be useful later in life. These students will be the leaders of tomorrow, ensuring the continual progress and flourishing of the U.S. 

This scholarship aims to support civic-minded students who are active participants in their schools and communities.

Any high school senior in New Jersey who participated in student government or student affairs in high school may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us what being a good citizen means to you, why voting is important, and what the Constitution means to you.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Passion
Published November 29, 2023
Essay Topic

What does being a good citizen mean to you? Why is voting integral in remaining a free nation? What does the Constitution mean to you?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Alexander Kang
Cherry Hill High School EastCherry Hill, NJ
From childhood nursery rhymes to high school history classes, American democracy has always been an integral part of our lives. The Pledge of Allegiance became second nature along with chanting “Mary Had a Little Lamb” as part of the daily morning routine. James Madison’s Bill of Rights was analyzed more than Hamlet. And of course, Schoolhouse Rock!’s Preamble song was more catchy than any Taylor Swift sensation. In the midst of these encounters with our nation’s governing system throughout our lives, our democracy has faced both challenges and transformations in recent years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. These horrifying global events make it all the more imperative to reflect on what makes democracy and voting so vital. Merriam-Webster defines democracy simply as “government by the people”, but to those who fought for it, those last three words represent the very essence of our nation’s identity and future. By the people. The words “liberty and justice for all” from the Pledge of Allegiance perfectly embody a fundamental principle of our democracy: individual freedom. While the Constitution directly incorporates inalienable rights into its pages, this liberty goes far beyond the privilege to vote in an election; we also carry the responsibility to engage in protecting the rights of all citizens. This ideology has become especially important in light of social and political movements addressing discrimination, inequality, and prejudice in our marginalized communities. From the civil rights movement to current debates about gender and LGBTQ rights, the right to take a stand as an individual is an empowering aspect of our democracy. In addition to ensuring every citizen has a stake in shaping the nation’s future through independent rights, democracy also prioritizes decision making as a group. The very Supreme Law of our Land, the Constitution, is not the masterpiece of a single person, but rather a shared vision for a just and harmonious society against the authoritarian British monarchy. Collaboration in the US democratic system fosters a culture of open dialogue and debate unlike any other governing body in the world. Ordinary citizens are encouraged to take on the political stage and actually express opinions of all backgrounds and advocate for changes that are meaningful to us and our communities, no matter the race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status. Another cornerstone of our democracy is our emphasis on accountability. Elected officials are held responsible for their decisions and impact on enacting the needs and aspirations of the people. The checks and balances system in essence safeguards our democracy against becoming stagnant or autocratic and are essential components of the democratic framework. The level of transparency in the independent judiciary and branches of government protect the rights of all citizens. Democracy isn’t a static concept: it is a living and breathing entity dependent on the active engagement from its citizens. In a time when division and violence threaten to pull us apart, it is our democracy that binds us together, providing a common goal to achieve. Democracy is more than just a dictionary definition. It’s the heartbeat of our nation, the collective symphony of voices shaping its politics, its economy, and its destiny. It’s the compass guiding us through the labyrinth of liberty, reminding us of the living, breathing commitment to the ideals that unite our strength and diversity, making it a unique and invaluable system of governance. We owe it to ourselves, our fellow citizens, and future generations to protect and nurture the democracy that defines us and to ensure that its light continues to shine brightly in an often tumultuous world.
Melanie Caraballo
William L Dickinson High SchoolJersey City, NJ
Being a member of society involves fulfilling duties and engaging in behaviors that support the harmony and operation of the community. It entails engaging in affairs valuing the perspectives and freedoms of others following regulations and making constructive contributions, to societal welfare. Essentially embodying citizenship entails acknowledging our role, within a social framework and making choices that uphold democratic principles, equality and fairness. One of the fundamental aspects of being a good citizen is exercising the right to vote. Voting is integral to remaining a free nation because it is the cornerstone of democracy. In a democratic society, the power ultimately rests with the people, and voting is the primary way for citizens to have a say in their governance. It allows individuals to choose their representatives, express their preferences on various issues, and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. The act of voting is not merely a civic duty; it is a fundamental right that ensures that the government remains accountable to the people it serves. When citizens participate in elections, they contribute to the legitimacy of the government and reinforce the principles of democracy. Furthermore, voting enables diverse voices to be heard, ensuring that the needs and interests of all segments of society are considered in the decision-making process. Moreover, voting is essential for safeguarding individual freedoms and protecting against tyranny. In a free nation, the government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. By participating in elections, citizens affirm their consent to be governed and assert their collective will. Without widespread participation in the electoral process, there is a risk that those in power may disregard the interests of the people and infringe upon their rights. Thus, voting serves as a crucial check on government power and helps to prevent the erosion of freedom. The Constitution holds immense significance in defining the principles and structure of our nation. It serves as the supreme law of the land, establishing the framework for our government and delineating the rights and responsibilities of citizens. To me, the Constitution represents the bedrock of American democracy, embodying the values of liberty, equality, and justice for all. The Constitution outlines the separation of powers among the three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—creating a system of checks and balances to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. It also guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms through the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, ensuring that every individual is entitled to due process, equal protection under the law, and the right to participate in the democratic process. Furthermore, the Constitution is a living document that has evolved over time to reflect the changing needs and values of society. Through the amendment process, it has expanded the scope of civil rights and liberties, rectified past injustices, and adapted to new challenges and circumstances. As such, the Constitution serves as a beacon of democracy, guiding our nation forward while upholding the principles of freedom, justice, and equality for all. In conclusion, being a good citizen involves actively participating in one's community, respecting the rights of others, and upholding the principles of democracy. Voting is essential for preserving freedom and ensuring that the government remains accountable to the people it serves. Meanwhile, the Constitution serves as the foundation of American democracy, embodying the values and principles that unite us as a nation. By fulfilling our duties as citizens and upholding the ideals enshrined in the Constitution, we contribute to the strength and vitality of our democracy for generations to come.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 15, 2024.

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