Stay Stoked Award

Why did we create the Stay Stoked Award?

Whatever path you take after high school, your journey as a member of the Wayfinder Society is valued and we want this award to help you STAY STOKED!!

What’s the Stay Stoked Award?

Algalita created this award to support Wayfinders who are dedicated to continuing their education and action within the movement to end plastic pollution.

We want this award to help you fund your higher education (formal or informal), community projects, internships and networking opportunities in the fields of plastic pollution, environmental or social justice, policy, science, the list goes on!

What’s the prize?

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

Apply for the Stay Stoked Award if you’re in the graduating class of ’20 or ‘21. If you’re in middle school or high school and are not a graduating senior, apply for the MiniStoke Award to keep your Wayfinder journey powered up!

See Award and Application Details below.

Application Timeline

  • Application period begins Monday, March 1, 2021. 
  • Application deadline is 5:00 pm PT Monday, June 14th, 2021. 
  • Winners announced mid-September 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 $14,000 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:

  • In the graduating high school class of ‘20 or ‘21, or receiving GED credentials (or equivalent).
  • No older than 20 years old on the application deadline.
  • A participating member of Wayfinder Society who has accumulated at least 100 Cairns.
  • Currently working to end plastic pollution in your local community, region, state, or on a national/international scale.

The Stay Stoked Award is open to Wayfinder applicants from any country in the world! You do not need to continue on to university or college to be eligible to receive the Stay Stoked Award!  You can be working on a project after high school, doing an internship, entering the working world, or pursuing another opportunity. We encourage you to find your own path! 

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.

*If you are in middle school or high school and are not a graduating senior, you are eligible to apply for the MiniStoke Award.*

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 choosing award recipients:

Recipients must have participated in Wayfinder Society’s online program, accumulating a minimum of 100 Cairns.  You must have completed Waymarks in all four categories (i.e. Stargazer, Adventurer, Visionary, Legend).  The 100 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.)

Recipients are committed to continuing their work to prevent plastic pollution after high school, 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!

Recipients must have:

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

Applicants must submit typed responses explaining why they should be a recipient of the award. You will need to let us know 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.)
Are there any additional application requirements for the Stay Stoked Award?

In addition to your written responses and other information you include in your application, you will need to provide the following. Please read these additional requirements carefully before starting your application.  

  • Your application must include a letter from your primary reference.  Your primary reference is an adult who has an understanding of your work to solve plastic pollution and can vouch for you.  Basically you want this person to give you a glowing review! This letter should not exceed 3000 characters (about 500 words).  Examples of primary references include teachers, mentors, school counselors, youth program representatives, coaches, politicians, business leaders, religious leaders, etc
  • Your family members cannot be listed as references.
  • Everything included in your application is considered public information once submitted and you should not include private or privileged information.
  • You must submit proof that you have graduated or are on track to graduate high school this year. (Or earn your GED credentials or equivalent.) This can be a copy of a transcript, diploma, or an official letter from your school administration services saying that you are on track for graduating this year.

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

We will only be able to review applications that are written in English. If English is not your native language, please do your best, and feel free to reach out to us with questions or if you need assistance.

What are the details for the MiniStoke Award? (What if I'm not graduating high school this year?)

If you are in middle school or high school and are not a graduating senior, you are eligible to apply for the MiniStoke Award! For the ‘20-’21 school year, $1,000 USD will be awarded to Wayfinders through the MiniStoke Award.  

  • You must have accumulated at least 50 Cairns by the application deadline.
  • The funds awarded must be applied to your projects or other opportunities you state in your application.  
  • Prize maximum is $250 USD per award recipient. 
  • Each MiniStoke Award winner will get a limited edition Stay Stoked Award pin.
Still have questions?

Ready to apply!?

application forms here + 

Applications must be submitted by 5 pm PT on June 14th, 2021.

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


– Doshi, The Gnarly Beach Cleaner

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