Student Mini Grants

Get funding for your projects and education!

These mini-grants are available to students looking for financial support for their personal education, school and community projects, internships, networking events, etc. connected to addressing the plastic crisis.

Applications closed for this year. 

Student Mini-Grant Information Session

View our virtual information session using the link below to learn everything you need to know about eligibility, requirements, and the application process.


​What’s a mini-grant?

Mini-grants range from $300 – $2000, and must be applied to your education, projects, or other efforts related to addressing the plastic problem. If you are selected as a grantee, you’ll need to report back to us by the end of the grant period sharing what you’ve accomplished. This is not a loan, so the money is yours to keep; you won’t need to pay it back.

In 2024, we will award a total of $15,000 USD through this program!

How do I apply?

  1. Create a Wayfinder Society individual account or student account with your class if you haven’t already.
  2. Complete at least these 2 Actions: The Story of Plastic – Watch the Film and The Story of Plastic – System Mapping.
  3. Complete the application by April 15th, 2024. 

Application Timeline

  • Application period begins January 15th, 2024. 
  • Application deadline is 5:00 pm PT, April 15th, 2024. 
  • Winners announced May 1st, 2024. Potential recipients may be contacted for a one-on-one phone or video call interview with judges.

Mini-Grant Application Details

What does a Wayfinder Society Mini-Grant include?

Each mini-grant will range from $300 – $2000. We will be awarding a total of $15,000 USD in this round of mini-grants.

Each winner will also receive:

  • Social media coverage on Algalita’s social media channels.
  • The opportunity to contribute to a blog post on the Wayfinder Society website.
Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for a Wayfinder Society Student Mini-Grant, you need to:

Our Student Mini-Grants are open to applicants anywhere in the world!   

We do not discriminate against its applicants based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

What are the selection criteria for a Wayfinder Society Mini-Grant?

Everyone’s contribution to ending plastic pollution is unique, so we encourage you to be true to yourself during this application process!  Our judges will look at the following criteria when reviewing your application:

You have participated in Wayfinder Society’s online program. You have completed and been awarded the Hours for the required Actions listed above. Your Hours must have been earned on an individual basis, not through a team account.  Also note, that while there are only 2 required Actions, your total Hours (you can find this in your Profile) at the time of your application will be considered as an indicator of your involvement in the program and may be used by judges for selection of finalists.

You have shown you are committed to continuing your work to prevent plastic pollution through furthering your education or conducting projects on a local, regional, national, or international scale.  Example areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Zero Waste
  • Social Justice
  • Environmental Justice
  • Philosophy
  • Social Science
  • Marketing
  • Business Communications
  • Policy
  • Chemistry
  • Science
  • We encourage you to apply no matter what your area of focus is, as long as you can relate it to ending plastic pollution!

You have explained why you should be a recipient of the award. The application will ask you to tell us about: 

  • Why are you involved in the plastic pollution movement, what is your backstory?
  • What have you learned and gained from participating in Wayfinder Society?
  • How have you taken action on the issue of plastic pollution, and what’s next for you?
  • How will you use the funds you receive from the award? We’ll ask the specific dollar amount you are applying for and an explanation of how it will be used. Documentation of how the funds are spent will be required from mini-grant awardees within a year of receiving the funds.

You have included two references, and a letter of recommendation: 

  • Your references should be adults who have a good understanding of your work to solve plastic pollution and can vouch for you.  Basically, you want this person to give you a glowing review!
  • The written recommendation should not exceed 3000 characters (about 500 words). Let your reference know this when you ask them if they can write a recommendation for you.
  • Examples of people who may be a good references include teachers, mentors, school counselors, youth program representatives, coaches, employers, etc.
  • Your family members cannot be listed as references.
  • We may contact your references to ask them about you, so make sure to get their permission before including them as a reference.
How may I use my Wayfinder Society Mini-Grant money?

We created the Student Mini-Grant program to support you, your education, and your community projects as you help move us toward a world where plastic pollution is unthinkable. Here are some example scenarios to get your imagination going:

  • You’re graduating high school and are applying to schools to study policy and environmental science. You need help to cover your application expenses, interview travel, or your first semester. 
  • You’re doing a community project to help educate people at your neighborhood center about how plastic production is impacting the health of your community. You want to screen the Story of Plastic for your community. You need funding to rent the neighborhood center to show educational documentaries, and to get a water refill station installed!
  • You’re applying for an internship but it’s unpaid, and you can’t afford to do the internship without compensation. 
  • You want to go to a Youth Conference on plastic pollution but you can’t cover the cost for travel. 
  • You want to start a YouTube channel where you talk about how incinerators and plastic waste are impacting your area, but you need the tech equipment to get started, and some money to afford it. 
  • There is an online course you’d like to take, books you want to read, or other educational expenses you need to cover.

These are just a few ideas, the options are endless!

To increase your chances of being an award recipient, please provide as much detail as possible in the application, including your plans and any progress so far. For more guidance on how you could spend the award money, or if you have questions, please reach out to the Wayfinder Society team. 

** Please note: If you are selected as a recipient of a Student Mini-Grant, you will need to submit an expense report (see an example) within 1 year showing how you’ve used the grant money.

What else should I know?
  • Everything included in your application is considered public information once submitted and you should not include private or privileged information.
  • As an English-speaking team, we currently will only be able to review applications in English. Please let us know if you need assistance with translating this application, or your submission. We will work with you to find a solution!
  • We will only accept one application per person.
  • If you need to talk to us about your application for any reason, please contact us.
Do you have more questions or need to contact us?

Please reach out to us if you have additional questions, need assistance, or to let us know how we can better accommodate your needs. Contact us here.

Meet other students leading the way in their communities.


Anaïs has been active in the Ohio River Valley bringing attention to the proposed petrochemical buildout in the region with the goal of amplifying fights in our region and energizing the local community.


Hannah has led the trend for Litterless Lunchboxes in Australia through her positive energy and dedication to her new org – Sea Good.


Raul led his Southern California community college away from plastics through his focus on environmental justice for his community. He’s currently studying GIS.

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