Be More Grant: Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Empowering Visionaries, Innovators, and Change-Makers 

Eligibility: Any NSHSS high school, college, or lifetime member with an established product, project, concept, service, or nonprofit that contributes to world betterment.

At the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), we believe that honor is just the beginning. Our Be More Grant program transcends the ordinary—it’s a launchpad for the extraordinary. 

NSHSS members aren’t just dreamers; they’re doers. We’re thrilled to announce the Be More Grant Competition. Fifteen (15) Be More Grants will be awarded at Scholar’s Day Atlanta in a Shark Tank-like style competition, totaling over $100,000! The NSHSS Be More Grant is set up to fund NSHSS members and their initiatives aspiring for world betterment.

NSHSS co-founder Claes Nobel once said, "I believe that the human race can be fundamentally better than it is, and students like you will be the ones to change the world to make it what it can be. You are the most formidable proponents of change."

If you’ve started a nonprofit or embarked on an innovative project that aims to make the world more equitable, this program is your opportunity. It’s not just about the money; it’s about amplifying your impact. 

We are looking for STEM, Humanities, and World Betterment projects that span from innovation in Engineering, Medicine, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Media, Social Research, Global & Social Good, Non-profit, Microfinance, Conservation, and Climate Change, to name just a few areas where past Be More winners have excelled.   

Finalists will be connected with mentors who will help the competing finalists hone and polish their presentation pitches to further improve their chances in the competition. 

The top 15 finalists will be required to participate in a live competition as part of the grant requirements. This will be an in-person event with a panel of judges where the finalists will compete to earn one of the ten (10) $10,000 or five (5) $1,000 grants. 


 If you have questions, please reach out to scholarships@nshss.org.

 

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Be More Grant Project Highlights

The NSHSS Be More Grant is a program set up to provide more than $100,000 in funding to NSHSS members and educators aspiring for world betterment. Be More isn’t just a program; it’s a mindset. It’s about pushing boundaries, disrupting norms, and creating impact. Here’s what it means to Be More.

Meet the $10,000 winners of the NSHSS Be More Grants

Each of our past winners received a $10,000 grant from NSHSS to help fund their world betterment initiatives.

Sashaovalle 2023
Sasha Ovalle

Sasha's passion for innovation began at the age of 10 during her first science and innovation fair. Thinking of her uncle, who was born with spina bifida, she decided to redesign the unwieldy and outdated crutches that he was forced to use every day. While her invention fell short of changing her uncle’s life, she obtained a provisional patent for it and began her journey as a young entrepreneur.

Sasha has continued her entrepreneurial growth as a member of her high school’s Entrepreneurialism and Global Leadership (EGL) Concentration where she was named EGL Student of the Year in 2022 and EGL Student Ambassador in 2023. Sasha's most recent project is Shower Saver, the world's first and only voice-controlled, Amazon Alexa-enabled shower head, an eco-friendly product with the potential to reduce national water consumption by a billion gallons a year. In addition to being awarded $10,000 in grant funding as an NSHSS Be More Fund national award winner, Shower Saver was selected as a finalist in the 2023 YES! Accelerator Program, an international entrepreneurial contest sponsored by BizWorld.org, the 2023 Paradigm Challenge, an international, STEM-based innovation competition sponsored by Project Paradigm, and the 2023 Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition, a global entrepreneurship competition focused on sustainability and sponsored by UNESCO, the GOI Peace Foundation, and Stiftung Entrepreneurship.

Sanyapirani 2023
Sanya Pirani

Sanya is the Founder/CEO of Sanya’s Hope For Children (a nonprofit organization) since 2017 as well as the youth ambassador for the CAP Agency in Scott, Dakota, and Carver Counties since 2015. She is a published author of the novel "High Tide" and is also a senior at Prior Lake High School in Minnesota. She strongly believes every child deserves basic human rights like food, shelter, clothes, safety, health, and education. She is interested in dual majoring in university Film and English.

Jessicamcdaniel 2023 (1)
Jessica McDaniel

Jessica McDaniel is a dedicated, dependable, accomplished leader skilled in coding, programming, robotics, rockets, and graphic design. She is ranked in the top 5% of her class in the Engineering Magnet program at Edgewater High School. Jessica is a high achiever academically (Certified in Autodesk Fusion 360, HTML/CSS, Autodesk Inventor, Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop), participates in honor societies, pursues dual enrollment, and is a valuable member of her community.

She is Captain of Citrus Council Girl Scout Rocket team and led her team to Top 45, out of nearly 800 teams, in our Nation in American Rocketry Challenge. She has been an active member of Girl Scouts (GS), is working on her Gold Award (Earned Bronze & Silver Awards), served as Captain of GS Robotics team for FLL, & was awarded Walt Disney World VoluntEAR Family of the Year.

Passionate about STEAM and sharing her talents with others she was chosen to be an “EngineerGirl Ambassador” for National Academy of Engineering where she created a rocket program for girls to excite and engage them in engineering. Jessica is interested in technology, collaborating with others, loves emerging technologies, innovation, and designing new products. She is excited to make a difference in the engineering community.

Henryzhou 2023 (1)
Henry Zhou

Henry Zhou attends Pine View High School in Sarasota, Florida. He has been the Founder & President of the Pine View Entrepreneur Club since 2021, where he organized and led weekly club meetings to teach students entrepreneurship. He also has been a volunteer and instructor at the Faulhaber Fab Lab since 2020, where he taught kids STEAM principles and led lab projects.

Arielarobinson 2023
Ariela Robinson

Ariela Robinson's love for animals began at an early age. She is a proud pet parent of two dogs and two cats. She also fosters many animals, including kittens, puppies, adult cats, and adult dogs. In her free time, Ariela enjoys volunteering at her local animal shelters and rescues. Her additional interests include Girl Scouts, art, photography, and baking. She has been involved in Girl Scouts since 2nd grade and has earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

She excels academically, taking several honors and college classes, and was recognized multiple times as the Student of the Semester. Ariela also currently serves as an Ambassador for NSHSS. In addition to NSHSS, she is also a part of the National Art Honors Society (NAHS), National Honors Society (NHS), and Girl Advisory Board for Girl Scouts (GAB). She has appeared in several news stories and was awarded the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award and a recognition from the City of Los Angeles.

Ivyprince 2023
Ivy Prince

Ivy Prince, 16 years old, is from the small town of Loris, South Carolina. She has a passion for Culinary Arts and loves to share that passion with others, that is why she created Cooking Capable. Cooking Capable is a series of workshops designed to teach middle and high school youth with special needs how to make simple, affordable, nutritious, and delicious meals. Ivy has three siblings in the special needs community who inspire her every day. She loves to cook and experiment with her older sister. Ivy is an 11th-grade homeschooled student. She is the president of her 4-H club, helps lead a student council for homeschooled teens, enjoys her local theater program, helps run her family learning center, and has a job at a local pizza place. She helps lead her 4-H club’s NICU Service project, making care packages for the parents of the babies in the NICU and getting local businesses to donate things such as microwaves and coffee makers. Ivy plans to attend the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach expanding her knowledge of the culinary arts, she will also continue Cooking Capable and her goals of making the world a better place.

Aarongeorge 2023
Aaron George

Aaron George is a high school junior in Austin, TX, with a profound passion for science, technology, and innovation. His impressive achievements include receiving prestigious awards such as the Lemelson Early Inventor Award and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Award. Aaron is a skilled student pilot and Cadet Master Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol. He is the President and Founder of STEMVest, a nonprofit aimed at providing STEM resources to K-12 students globally.

His dedication to scientific research is evident from his involvement in science fairs since fourth grade, earning numerous awards. Aaron excels academically, participating in honor societies and pursuing dual enrollment at The University of Texas. His internships include roles as a General Surgeon's Intern and a Software Developer Intern. In 2023, he participated in the Yale Young Global Scholars and Harvard Summer School Scholar programs.

Aaron's commitment extends to community service, raising $23,000 at a fundraising gala. He is a certified student pilot and aspires to become a flight surgeon. Selected as a Texas High School Aerospace Scholar by NASA, Aaron's diverse experiences, leadership potential, and community engagement position him as a promising candidate for a STEM leader and a motivational speaker.

Sophiafontecchio 2023
Sophia Fontecchio

Sophie Fontecchio is a senior at Downingtown STEM Academy in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Sophie intends to study Political Science and Public Policy in college and eventually attend law school. Her career interests include nonprofit work and public interest law. Her long-term goal is to be an elected official. Sophie attends an International Baccalaureate high school and maintains a 4.3 GPA. At her high school she is Class Treasurer, Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, Captain of the Defense for the STEM Mock Trial Team, and Vice President of the STEM Democrats club. She is also on the Executive Board for the National Honor Society and Aevidum, a mental health club. Outside of school she runs her own 501(c)(3), Let’s Bake the World a Better Place. She also is the Vice Chair of Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement. In the past she has interned with PA State Representative Danielle Friel Otten and PA State Senator Katie Muth. In her spare time Sophie dances ballet and pointe at Chester Valley Dance Academy and enjoys going to concerts. She has 5 cats and a dog and is a crazy cat lady!

Leighannebryant 2023
Leighanne Bryant

Leighanne Bryant is the founder and president of the nonprofit Gold Star Kids Support Services. She is a senior at Hillgrove High School and participates in numerous activities. She is the Student Body President and a Varsity Cheerleader for both Football and Basketball. She is a member of Science National Honor Society, Math National Honor Society, and Athletic Honor Society. Along with being involved in school, she is also involved in the community. She has been a member of Girl Scouts for 11 years and just received her Gold Award, the highest award. She is currently deciding which college she wishes to go to, but she plans on majoring in kinesiology and becoming a physical therapist. She loves helping others and making a positive impact in the world.