Stay Stoked Award

Applications are open NOW til July 14.

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.

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 July 14th to let us know why you should get some Stay Stoked Award money!

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

Ready to apply!?

Click here for the application form + 

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

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


– Doshi, The Gnarly Beach Cleaner

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