We believe in helping to ensure the success of student leaders who care about their communities. The Center for Quality Communities Scholarship supports senior high school students who are actively engaged with their community and/or city government and want to pursue post-secondary education. The scholarship fund is supported by people who are passionate about cultivating Washington’s future local leaders.

Check out our 2020 scholarship winners.
I am a city official. How do I nominate a student?
I am a student. How do I apply?

Nominating students

The 2020 application period is now closed.

All of Washington’s 281 cities and towns can recruit scholarship applicants. Each jurisdiction can nominate one scholarship applicant to the Center for Quality Communities.

How do you select and nominate?

Cities are important partners in the selection process. Here’s how you do your part:

  • Each city decides how it wants to select a local nominee. It can be competitive, and open to the community at large. You can recruit from active city volunteers. Or you can solicit applications from your local schools. You can limit your applications to city residents only.
  • Publicize the scholarship. Here is a flyer.
  • Collect your completed scholarship application forms.
  • Select one candidate to nominate using the Center’s ranking sheet.
  • Write an endorsement letter for the nominee.
  • The city’s selection with the student’s application materials and your endorsement letter must be postmarked by March 9, 2020. Please mail to:
    AWC Center for Quality Communities Scholarship Fund
    1076 Franklin St. SE
    Olympia, WA 98501-1346

Some tips to help you with your community’s scholarship process


Review the Center for Quality Communities scholarship information. Identify a city contact who will receive the scholarship applications. Set an application deadline for your city to receive its applications. Your nominee’s application must be postmarked and mailed to the AWC Center for Quality Communities by March 9, 2020.
Each city can decide its eligibility requirements. Some criteria to consider:

  • Is the scholarship limited to students living within city limits?
  • Is the scholarship limited to active volunteers in city programs? Or does it extend to school and other community activities?
  • Do you want to partner with your local schools or service organizations to publicize the scholarship and recruit applicants?

Outreach – How do you want to spread the word?

If you’re doing a community-wide recruitment:

  • Post on your website.
  • Include in city publications.
  • Send to your community newspaper. Sample press release.
  • Post in city hall, the library, the community center.
  • Announce at community meetings and service clubs.

If you’re recruiting only from city volunteers:

  • Post in city hall.
  • Advertise with city staff who work with student volunteers.
  • Send information to student volunteers.
  • Personally recruit student volunteers.

If you’re working directly with the high school:

  • Send scholarship information to the high school career offices.
  • Let the school newspaper help publicize the scholarship.


Get your team organized.

  • Name a selection committee to review the applications and name a scholarship nominee.
  • Go over the eligibility and ranking criteria before reviewing applications.

Select a nominee
Now comes the fun part!

  • Using your eligibility and ranking criteria sheet select one student to nominate.
  • Write an endorsement letter.
  • Send the student application and endorsement letter to AWC Center for Quality Communities. Application must be postmarked by March 9, 2020.

How do I apply?

The 2020 application period is now closed.

Each city and town can nominate one student for the scholarship. The scholarship recruitment and selection process is done by your city. A nomination is sent from the city to the Center for Quality Communities by March 9, 2020.


Students interested in competing for the Center for Quality Communities scholarship fund must be:

  • Involved (or have been involved) with a city government, community and/or school leadership activity;
  • Eligible to graduate from high school, completed home school or received a GED in spring/summer 2020;
  • A Washington state resident; and
  • Plan to continue education in the 2020-2021 academic year at an accredited college or trade school on a half-time or more basis.

Interested in applying?

  • Contact your city to see how they are recruiting (is it open to the community, limited to students who volunteer with the city, or offered through a partnership with your school). Information may be posted on the city’s website or you can call your mayor’s office for more details.
  • Complete the Center for Quality Communities scholarship application. It must be returned to your city by the deadline they select.
  • You’ll also need to include a reference letter and a personal essay.
  • The city will review all the applications and select a nominee.