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Vegan Teens Are The Future Scholarship

1 winner$500
Next Application Deadline
Feb 2, 2024
Next Winners Announced
Mar 2, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Vegan for 1 year or more
Future Plans:
Share the need for a vegan lifestyle with the world
Education Level:
High school, undergrad

The adoption of a vegan ethical framework is the most effective and important step a person can take to truly change themselves and the world for the better.

This mission is important in ending the climate crisis, global water misuse, animal cruelty, and the disrespect of our planet’s species. The Vegan Teens Are The Future Scholarship will support teens who have already made the choice to adopt a vegan lifestyle and would like to use their education to influence others towards veganism. 

High school students and undergraduates are eligible to apply if they are vegans and have been for over a year. This scholarship is for students pursuing any area of study that will enable them to thrive and become involved in promoting change towards veganism.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 1, 2023
Essay Topic

Please describe why you decided to become a vegan and why veganism is important to you. What are your dreams and plans to use your education or experiences to grow the vegan movement in the future?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Aliena Grainger
The Clarkson SchoolPOTSDAM, NY
Serendipitously discovering a documentary on plant-based nutrition during the COVID-19 quarantine catalyzed a radical change in my lifestyle and the trajectory of my future. As my father and I sat together, captivated by emotional stories and compelling evidence, we embarked upon our transition to a plant-based lifestyle. I had discovered my life’s purpose: to harness my love for science and food to help others. As I reflect upon my life, it now seems inevitable that I would pursue this path. As a child, I found joy in watching BrainPop’s science videos, sketching the DNA helices as the animated robot brought them to life on screen. Food was always a familial source of joy; I fondly remember my siblings and I sneaking bread dough from our dad, delighting in the creation of miniature loaves. Finally, for years I witnessed my grandfather’s ongoing battle with type 2 diabetes. Until my plant-based diet epiphany, I had no idea that there might be something I could do to help. A few months later, I conducted a week-long, plant-based experiment, and it became a defining moment in my journey. Cooking strictly plant-based meals for my grandparents, father, and siblings, I tested their vitals and blood markers (heart rate, oxygen, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL cholesterol) before and after, and compared the data. The results only strengthened my resolve to research and promote medical nutrition. My activism took many other forms, including bringing nutritious meals to my high school class to destigmatize plant-based foods, creating a website cataloging the best resources on relationships between plant-based foods and specific conditions (e.g. autoimmune disease, cancer, etc.), and engaging in small-scale activism–sparking relevant conversation with individuals, often leaving both parties inspired. These mark the beginning of my journey, which I hope to whole-heartedly continue in college. I hope to, if possible, major in nutrition or biomedical sciences, supplemented by minors in environmental studies, public health, or medical anthropology. This interdisciplinary education will allow me to deepen my knowledge of the health science of food while delving into environmental impacts and sociological and political complexities that underlie the change that I strive to make. Further, I am excited by the possibility of participating in cutting-edge research, whether that be on diet’s effects on the microbiome, specific implications of plant-based living for chronic disease, or otherwise. With all I would learn from the interdisciplinary education, I strive to contribute as well. After my undergraduate education, I will pursue a PhD and, later, visualize teaching as a post-secondary professor. By doing so, I will contribute to the vibrant world of academia, advancing research on the relationship between a plant-based diet and chronic disease while also passionately educating future generations. These years of research and further exploration of plant-based nutrition science will prepare my activist self for my ultimate dream, the culmination of my education and unbridled passion. Armed with my personal and others’ research on plant-based nutrition, I aspire to demonstrate to healthcare systems and insurance companies that it is truly in their, and their insureds’, interest to meaningfully integrate plant-based nutrition into the healthcare system as prevention and treatment of our leading killers. This is the lasting change I actively pursue and how I hope to help improve, and potentially save, the lives of many struggling with chronic disease. Maximizing my personal growth, intellectual innovation, and interpersonal relationships from my college years, I intend to chase my dreams and foster an improved healthcare system that is more sustainable, effective, and affordable. I am inspired further by hope that my contributions will evoke lasting change and healthier lives.
Kate Downing
Tantasqua Regional Sr HighSturbridge, MA


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 2, 2024. Winners will be announced on Mar 2, 2024.

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