Encouraging young leaders from 14 pre-selected California Colleges and Universities to undertake a high-impact project in public service or social change in their junior or senior year.

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The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation

5001 Birch Street, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 949.955.1930  

Email: admin@straussfoundation.org


Copyright 2017 Strauss Foundation. All rights reserved.

Demonstrated interest in public service.

Outstanding leadership potential.

Submitted an innovative public service project proposal.

Responsibilities of Scholars


Do not apply directly to the Strauss Foundation. Each pre-selected school has its own deadline for applications in January or February. The Selection Committee from your campus will submit  up to three applications in early March; awards are announced by mid- April. $13,000 of the funds will be available May 1st. 

The final $2000 will be given at the April Presentations.

Am I Eligible?

Attend one of our pre-selected four-year California colleges or universities

Have one or two years remaining until graduation?

Have a GPA in the upper 1/3 of your class?

Have the desire to “make a difference” in local, regional, national or international communities?

Application Process

Check Internal Deadline (January or February) and contact Campus Representative

Complete Application Summary and submit, along with:​​​


  • One-page Resume - With current and past public service


  • One-page Personal Essay


  • A Project Proposal - Limited to 4 pages, including Budget and Timeline using at least 


  • 2 Recommendations - If working with a partner organization, also submit their Letter of Support.


  • Transcript - A photocopy is okay.


Selection Criteria

Maintain satisfactory academic performance (upper 1/3 class).

Carry out the public service project, emailing short,

bi-monthly updates, and a 2-page final assessment in April.


Attend a Regional Meeting in November, in either Northern or Southern California.


Attend a mandatory meeting of all Strauss Award recipients at UC Irvine in April and make a short presentation.


Serve as a Strauss Ambassador at your school, reaching out to encourage others to apply.