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The Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund’s Discover Your Passion™ Competition encourages parents, students, teachers and schools to identify and showcase exemplary creativity, intellectual pursuits and talent of school children. The competition also attempts to bring to the foreground the full range of what talent can be – from the academically advanced “how does it work?” student to the kid who loves animals and has the potential to harness that passion to be the next Temple Grandin or Jane Goodall.

The Discover Your Passion™ Competition offers New York City-based students in kindergarten through 8th grade, an opportunity to explore their unique gifts, talents and passions in an area of their choice. The $15,000 Scholarship Fund will be awarded to five children who show exceptional promise in academic fields, sports, music, the arts, social entrepreneurship, technology or other disciplines. The Grand Prize Winner receives $5000 toward the pursuit of his or her choice; 2 Second Place Winners receive $3500, and 2 Third Place Winners receive $1500, for a total of $15,000.  Finalists will be selected from the three categories: Kindergarten-2 grade; 3-5 grade; 6-8th grade.

Support may be provided for any activities identified by the student, from travel, to mentorships, to attendance at relevant programs, or equipment for the specific use of that child toward his or her desired goal.  Use of these funds is not prescribed by the program, but they must be designed to support the child’s passion. For the musically talented child, for example, the award could support lessons with a noted music instructor, or participation in an elite ensemble.

Click here for more information on Criteria, Eligibility and the Submission Process. 

To qualify, please fill out the application below for immediate entry. If you prefer to email or mail your submission, you can download the application here. To complete the application, you will need to include the following:

  • Application [fill out the form below]
  • Nominating Letter from Parent, Guardian or Adult familiar with my talent [download the nominating letter form]
  • Nominating Letter from Teacher, Counselor, Instructor, or other relevant authority familiar with my talent [download the nominating letter form]
  • Submission in one or more of the following Submission Formats:
    • TEXT [writing samples, poetry, and all other text-based bodies of work]
    • AUDIO [musical performance and all other audio-based presentations of work but may not exceed 5 minutes in length. This shall serve as a sampling for longer form works.]
    • VIDEO [A link to a YouTube video is preferred, though should not exceed 5 minutes in length. This should serve as a sample of the work if the actual work is beyond 5 minutes in length. Please share the link below.]
    • PHOTO [This may include photographs or other works best represented through photo submission.]


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