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Do I have to be a U.S. citizen?

All applicants must be located in the United States or in one of its territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), but U.S. citizenship is not an eligibility requirement.  

I am in a grade between Kindergarten and 7th grade. My adult ally has not received the email requesting adult consent. What should I do?   

Reach out to our team at [email protected] and we are happy to help! 

Do I have to be a member of or associated with the First Book network in order to apply?  

No, you must be enrolled at a school that is eligible for Title I status, a school that is on a Military Base, or a Tribal School but you do not need to be a member of or associated with the First Book Network.

I am an adult supporting young applicants, can I apply on their behalf?  

Yes! You are able to submit multiple applications on behalf of young people that you are supporting. Please keep in mind, however, that we will only accept one application per initiative and per applicant. 

What size does the image for the banner and card need to be? 

The file size for the banner and card images that will be displayed with your project on our platform cannot exceed 5 Megabytes. The file also needs to be formatted appropriately (types: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tiff). 

Do I need a teammate in order to apply? If I do have a team, how many applications should we submit?  

No, you do not need a teammate in order to apply; you can apply as an individual or as part of a team. 

Only one application per initiative and per person will be accepted.

Is it okay if I have teammates outside of the age range?  

For the purposes of the Challenge, all teammates should be enrolled in grades Kindergarten through 12th.  

Where do I put the information of my teammate(s) on the application?  

There is a question on the application asking for your teammate(s) name(s). If you do not yet have teammates, you are asked how you intend to build a team.  

I am living in the US, but my idea supports a community abroad. Is that okay?  

Yes! All applicants must be located in the United States or in one of its territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). However, your project can support any community around the world. In your application, share with us why you care about this community and how you are connected.  

I won one of Ashoka's other youth challenges. Am I eligible to apply?  

Yes! Winners of Ashoka's other youth challenges who meet all of the eligibility requirements for this challenge can apply.

How does the application process work?

Applications are submitted through this online platform. To apply, click the button labeled “apply here” on the main page; one button is for applicants who are in grades K-7 and one button is for applicants who are in grades 8-12 – it is important that you click the correct button for your grade level. Create an account and click the "+ Add Project" button underneath the header banner. This will prompt you to submit your initiative. You can submit and continue to edit your entry up until the final application deadline (11:59 PM ET on January 18, 2024).

I published my entry but saw a typo. Can you help me fix it?

You can make edits up until our final entry deadline of January 18, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET. To do that, first, make sure you are logged in and click on the button "Edit" on the right side of the page above the timeline, then click on the name of the task you wish to edit (e.g. "About your project"). Now click on the 3-dot icon in the corner of the card, select the "Edit" option, and make your edits. Done! No need to re-submit your application, you just have to do it once.

Remember, all published entries will be locked as of 11:59 PM ET on January 18, 2024. To allow for the most fair and equitable review process, you will not be able to make any edits after the deadline.

My YouTube video is really low-resolution. What should I do?

When uploading to YouTube, a low-resolution video is uploaded first. The resolution will improve, but it usually takes a few hours to do so. Be patient! Regardless, you won’t be penalized for the resolution of your video.

What type of photos are you looking for me to upload?

This is up to you! We love seeing your project in action. Be sure you have permission from anyone in the photo before you upload it and remember that all images uploaded are in the public portion of the application. This means that images will be visible to all viewers of the entry page.

Can my team members edit my entry on the challenge platform?

No. The platform does not currently allow multiple people to edit the same entry.

Do I need to have a pre-existing project in order to apply?

Nope! Brand new ideas are welcome.

Who do the diversity questions refer to?

The diversity questions refer to the primary youth representative of your project. These questions are optional and are meant to help us continue to improve our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. 

I received the early entry prize. Does this mean that I am one of the Challenge winners?

Winning the early entry prize does not guarantee that you will be a Challenge winner. But it does mean that you get $100 in seed funding to support your project!

Is there a word limit?

There is a character limit including spaces for each question. When answering these questions, we suggest you use as many words as you feel necessary to capture to answer the question – sometimes less can be more!

I want to schedule an information session for my program/class/school – who should I contact?

We would love to host a group information session if potential applicants are unable to attend the scheduled sessions or during support sessions! Reach out to us at [email protected] to coordinate with our outreach team.

How can I see the other projects that have been submitted?

You need to be registered to see the projects. Once you log in, you can click on the “Projects” tab to see published projects.

I have more questions – who should I contact?

You can contact us with additional questions at [email protected]. You can also join our text list here or by texting (571) 622-1066 or by messaging us on Instagram.


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