Stay Stoked Award

Meet our 2021 awardees!

We are absolutely stoked about the incredible work these young leaders are doing in their communities, on their campuses, and beyond. Learn a bit about them and their projects here.

Thank you again to everyone who applied for the award. We are so impressed with the commitment and leadership you all have shown.

Stay tuned and follow us to learn more about the work these legends are doing!


Pennsylvania | Community Leadership

My project is a multi-day march through the Ohio River Valley to bring attention to the proposed petrochemical buildout in the region and associated infrastructure including pipelines, fracking infrastructure, and fracking waste with the goal of amplifying fights in our region and energizing the local community.

What keeps me stoked?

Something that has always helped me stay stoked are the people I’m in community with – I’m so grateful for their passion, wisdom, deep commitment to justice, and love for each other as people and not just for their contributions to the movement.


Ontario, Canada | Simply Lotus

SimplyLotus is a company committed to eliminating plastic pollution and revolutionizing the fashion industry by creating a variety of up-cycled bags.

What keeps me stoked?

Hearing conversations about change-making and efforts to make sustainable lifestyles more attainable keep me stoked.


Hawai’i | Community Composting Hub

As part of our mission to reduce greenhouse gases, it is imperative that we collaborate with other schools/organizations for community action in unison.

What keeps me stoked?

As a native Hawaiian, I am fueled by the spirit from my Kupuna (ancestors); I connect my ancestral knowledge with action and continue to link the past to the future.


New Jersey | Youth.ify Soapbox Festival

My Stay Stoked project is the SoapBox Festival hosted by Youth.ify, a virtual, global event designed to inspire cohesion and collaboration in the youth environmental movement.

What keeps me stoked?

Something that keeps me stoked is my amazing team members and Youth.ify’s Board of Directors who work incredibly hard together and also have incredible amounts of fun!


California | Community Leadership

The purpose of my social media project is to further develop my video editing skills to create fun and engaging educational content around living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, so it motivates young teens and adults to look for solutions to the multiple issues around plastic pollution.

What keeps me stoked?

I stay stoked by living in the present moment because we have a limited time on earth, so why not experience all that we can and look to become a better version of ourselves every day.


Hawai’i | Community Leadership

I am a junior at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and I am aiming for a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Communicology, Economics, and Political Sciences. My goal is to acquire the skills, knowledge, and academic education needed to be a well-rounded lawmaker who can advocate for the local community, with an emphasis on youth rights and the environment.

What keeps me stoked?

Being with other youth who are also making waves in the movement to beat plastic pollution!


California | Dooryard Market

My project, the Dooryard Market, is a blueprint for other groups to replicate that focuses on reducing both plastic and food waste while also building a supportive community.

What keeps me stoked?

Spending time with my family, cool foggy days, monarchs in my milkweed, growing Brussels sprouts and melons, and seeing extended family members take meaningful action for our planet.


South Australia, Australia | Litterless Lunchboxes

Litterless Lunchboxes is all about fighting single use plastic waste in lunchboxes: educating school communities about the issues and providing solutions to help them fight plastic!

What keeps me stoked?

Swimming, surfing, snorkeling and just exploring the sea; nothing brings me more peace and total positivity than the ocean!


West Virginia | Community Leadership

I will be collaborating with groups including the newly-formed Youth for Appalachian Justice Coalition to expand anti-oppression work in our plastics and petrochemical organizing efforts through mutual aid, reparative justice, and coalition-building efforts, in addition to communicating my research about the pipeline buildout in the Ohio River Valley and supporting other student organizers in the region.

What keeps me stoked?

I stay stoked seeing all of the awesome, inspiring young organizers in the region fighting for a liberatory Appalachian future.


California | Campus and Community Leadership

During the pandemic, I created and worked on implementing a seven-year contract to find alternatives to phase out and remove the sale of single-use plastics at Cerritos College. With these funds, I will invest in my education at San Diego State University as I continue to educate myself on advocating for a sustainable and breathable future.

What keeps me stoked?

This campaign did not arise by itself; I appreciate Salvador Uribe, Gisselle Delgadillo, Hector Ledesma, Valery Escobar, Young Gyras, Amna Jara, and Dr. Ryan Goode for your contribution and support on this campaign. Having an incredible team and support group that keeps on advocating for a zero-waste campus back at home keeps me stoked for the future leaders that will lead this sustainable movement for the better of our communities.


California | A Change Is a Chance

A Change is a Chance is a podcast I started almost 2 years ago with the goal of educating youth about our most pressing issues from climate change, plastic pollution to systemic racism. My goal is to expand A Change is a Chance into an international youth community where we can share ideas, discuss problems, mobilize across borders and take action to find solutions for our generation.

What keeps me stoked?

What makes me super stoked is knowing that someone learned something because of what I published and they passed that knowledge on, or when someone decides to join the Plastic Free movement because of one of my interviews! I was 8 when I did my first Plastic Free July. There is no age too old or too young to make change. When I can change a 70 year old’s mind on global warming being real, or encourage a 5 year old to cut out one plastic in his life, it keeps me stoked for a lifetime!


Connecticut | Artist and Musician, The Party Is Over

The Stay Stoked award money will help as I pursue a degree in animation and continue to use my art to speak out for the planet.

What keeps me stoked?

Reaching more people with the environmental messages of my art and music!


Limpopo Province, South Africa | She4Earth

She4Earth is about educating rural communities about plastic pollution and how it’s linked to climate change, food insecurity and biodiversity loss – setting up school gardens and planting fruit trees.

What keeps me stoked?

Nothing stokes me more than a solution that transforms people’s lives.


Florida | Campus Leadership

I am creating a guide to help college students understand and utilize their school’s beverage contract as a way of making their university more sustainable.

What keeps me stoked?

Finding time for joy and rest keeps me stoked in this movement, I love going on picnics with friends and teaching myself how to grow various plants and veggies!


Arizona | Education and Advocacy

The goal is to raise awareness and spark discussion on a state-wide level on the consequences for limiting Arizona cities’ power for regulating single-use containers and recycling through the “ban on bag bans”; including discussion of reformation and addressing concerns of local stakeholders.

What keeps me stoked?

What keeps me stoked is seeing people become passionate about helping their community through volunteering, bringing people together, and raising awareness about local issues.

Get funding for your projects and education!

This award is open to all Wayfinders looking to get some financial support for their personal education and development, school efforts, community projects, internships, networking events, etc. connected to addressing the plastic crisis.

Applications for 2021 are closed.

How do I apply?

  1. Create a Wayfinder account if you haven’t already.
  2. Complete at least these 3 Waymarks: The Story of Plastic – Watch the Film, The Story of Plastic – Stop & Jot, and The Story of Plastic – System Mapping.
  3. Complete the application (which includes a recommendation) by the deadline to let us know why you should get some Stay Stoked Award money! (2021 application period is closed.)

Remember, everyone is an important part of creating a world where plastic pollution is unthinkable. Whatever path you take, your journey as a member of the Wayfinder Society is valued and we want this award to help you STAY STOKED!!


What’s the prize?

In 2021, $15,000 USD will be awarded to Wayfinders! The funds awarded must be applied to your education, projects, or other opportunities you state in your application. 

See Award and Application Details below +

Application Timeline

  • Application period begins Monday, March 1, 2021. 
  • Application deadline is 5:00 pm PT Monday, July 14th, 2021. 
  • Winners announced in August 2021. Potential recipients may be contacted for a one-on-one phone or video call interview with judges.

Award and Application Details

What do I win if I receive the Stay Stoked Award?

We will be awarding a total of $15,000 USD to Stay Stoked Award recipients. Prize minimum is $500 USD, no maximum!

Each winner will also receive:

  • A limited edition Stay Stoked Award winner pin. 
  • 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 for the Stay Stoked Award?

To be eligible for the Stay Stoked Award, applying Wayfinders must be:

The Stay Stoked Award is open to Wayfinder applicants from anywhere in the world!   

The Wayfinder Society and Stay Stoked Award 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 the Stay Stoked Award?

Every Wayfinder’s journey is unique, we encourage you to be true to yourself during this application process!  Our judges look at the following criteria when reviewing your application:

You have participated in Wayfinder Society’s online program. You have completed and been awarded Cairns for the required Waymarks listed above. Your Cairns must have been earned on an individual basis, not through group participation (i.e. taking credit for other participant’s Cairns in the program.)  Also note, that while there are only 3 required Waymarks, your total Cairns (find this in your profile) at 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 their 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 Wayfinders to apply no matter what your area of focus is, as long as you can relate it to ending plastic pollution!

 You have:

  • Shown your desire for systemic change.
  • Demonstrated your search for deeper knowledge.
  • Proven to us that you want to stay stoked

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? (If you have a specific dollar amount request for award funds for a project or education needs, please provide the dollar amount and an explanation of how it will be used. Documentation of how the Award funds are spent will be required.)

You have included contact information for 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, politicians, business leaders, religious leaders, 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 Stay Stoked Award money?

We created this award to support you, your education, and your endeavors 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 in 6th grade and 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. Apply for the Stay Stoked Award to help you print flyers and get a projector for 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. However, we still encourage you to apply for the Stay Stoked Award, even if you’re not sure what you would want to use the award money for! For more guidance on how you could spend the award money, or if you have questions about your plan, please reach out to the Wayfinder team to discuss further ( 

** Please note: If you are selected as a recipient of the award, you will need to submit an expense report within 2 years showing how you’ve used the award.

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!
  • Please use the application form provided here to submit your application!
  • We will only accept one application per person.
  • If you need to talk to us about your application for any reason, please email us at
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. Email us at

Got questions?

Contact us +

“Remember to always make it fun, and to always stay stoked!!”


– Doshi, The Gnarly Beach Cleaner

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