Romanian American National Heritage Awards 2023, 7th edition 

The Romanian American National Heritage Award is an annual competition for high school students with Romanian heritage or background. Applicants of non-Romanian descent may qualify, as long as their work and experience relate to Romania or the Romanian community in the US. 

The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the cohesion of the Romanian community and the preservation of its heritage, language, culture and traditions.

The jury representing the three organizations involved base their decision on the national and international impact of the volunteering activity described, the candidate's academic achievements and leadership potential and tracked record, as well as their future vision for the benefit of the Romanian community, locally and beyond.

Congratulations to the Winners of This Year's Edition : 

  • Victor Ene National Platinum Award
  • Andrea Klein National Platinum Award
  • Gabriela Pirtea National Platinum Award
  • Caterina Stoica National Platinum Award
  • Stephanie Dragoi National Gold Award
  • Ana Girnita National Gold Award
  • Mara Haiduc National Gold Award
  • Alexandra Lehene National Gold Award
  • Elisa Tunaru National Gold Award
  • Marina Diaconu National Silver Award
  • Gruia Radu National Silver Award
  • Daniel Rimbu National Silver Award
  • Larissa Sambotin National Silver Award
  • Ana Guset US Central Platinum Award
  • Roxana Stanescu US West Platinum Award
  • Michael Stoica US East Platinum Award
  • Julia Triculescu US Central Platinum Award
  • Luca Barbat US West Gold Award
  • Teodora Diaconu US East Gold Award
  • Emma Manole US West Gold Award
  • Sophia Manole US West Gold Award
  • Ana Martin US East Gold Award
  • Ayden Pana US Central Gold Award
  • Alexa Zaharia US Central Gold Award
  • Inara Zayic US Central Gold Award
  • Alissia Anghel US Central Silver Award
  • Matei Busu US Central Silver Award
  • Alexandru Cernea US Central Silver Award
  • Alexandru Dragoi US East Silver Award
  • Emma Dram US Central Silver Award
  • Daniel Fanaru US West Silver Award
  • Dan Haidau US Central Silver Award
  • Laura Melinciuc US East Silver Award
  • Andrew Zaharia US West Silver Award
  • Maya Alexa Honorary Mention Award
  • David Bora Honorary Mention Award
  • Matei Panaitisor Honorary Mention Award
  • David Tunduc Honorary Mention Award
  • Rebekah Weidell Honorary Mention Award

NEW - Romanian Bridge Builders section

Now at the 7th edition, Romanian American National Heritage Award is adding a new section to the prestigious Awards.

The Romanian American community is not only cohesive within the United States, but many of its members are also working to strengthen the heritage connections between Romanian Americans and their ancestral lands in Romania. This always involves hard work from generous people from both United States and Romania. 

The outcome of this work is a strong global community of Romanians, which benefits both United States and Romania.

The Award committee is now recognizing the contribution of high school students in Romania to strengthening these heritage connections between Romanian Americans and their ancestral lands in Romania.

The Romanian Bridge Builders Award is granted to high school students in Romania who through their work make the world better.

Winners of this year’s edition are:

  • Luca-David Vulpe, a junior at the Emanuil Godju High School in Oradea, Bihor for his contribution to the charity work of the One World Association Romania as well as outstanding academic achievements
  • Harris Kopanyi, a sophomore at the Emanuil Godju High School in Oradea, Bihor for his work with the Prima Foundation helping children in Bihor County and outstanding academic and athletic achievements

It is an honor for the Romanian American community to host them at the award ceremony held at the Alianța Gala on November 29th 2023.


Granted by the American Romanian Cultural Society and Romanian United Fund, Romanian American Professional Network, with the endorsement of the Embassy of Romania to the United States. The Award Ceremony will be hosted at the Alianța Gala in November. With the support or ARCS Arizona and ARCS Detroit.

Community Partners:


Please email us at if you want to join us as a community partner.


Recognition and Awards

All eligible participants will receive the official recognition of the Romanian Embassy in the United States and the top winners will receive awards of up to $1000.

In the past years the award has helped the recipients distinguish themselves in their admission process to top colleges and institutions, such as Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, Pitzer College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Whitman College, Purdue University, UW Honors, Harvard and many others. 


June 30 - Submission of Applications Opens
October 15th - Submission of Applications Closes
October 31 - Winners Announced 
November 29 - Award Ceremony at Alianța Gala

Apply HERE

​Age and residence: For the 2023 edition, participants must be enrolled in High School in United States for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Academic standing: Minimum unweighted High School GPA of 3.0 – or equivalent, running average for the last school year.

Team work: Both individuals and teams can participate in the competition. Participation in teams is encouraged. To encourage leadership and simplify the evaluation process, the maximum team size is 5, including the leader.

There are no Romanian or US citizenship requirements. There are no fees required, this competition is entirely free to participate for eligible students.

Eligibility for national participants
The top 5 winners of the regional competitions advance to the national competition.

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used in the evaluation process (not all criteria are required, but they will strengthen your application): 

1) Community work and leadership
The number of volunteering hours and their visible outcome and results will be a strong factor in the evaluation. Where applicable and possible, volunteering and community work in Romania (e.g. groundbreaking projects with children, youth and seniors from underprivileged social backgrounds, or religious and ethnic minorities) will receive the jury's highest consideration. Please highlight this aspect in your application. 

Please provide a detailed description of your working experience, highlighting the ways in which your activity and leadership initiatives impacted the targeted community, strengthening its civic spirit and sense of unity.

2) Essay 
Please submit a short motivationalessay that will describe how your community work influenced your own personal growth and brought awarness to your bicultural and bilingual identity in the US. We strongly encourage applicants to model their essay from their college application essays, following a similar structure and attention to detail. The essay shall have no less than 200 words and no more than 650 words.

3) Recommendations from local community leaders
Your essay and recommendations (up to 2) will play an important role in the evaluation process. A formal letter is not required, a name and contact info (email and/or phone number) will be sufficient. The contest organizers will reach out to confirm the recommendations.

Romanian Heritage Connection
Applicants of any cultural background may qualify, as long as they are able to prove their interest, work experience and connection to Romania. 
Examples of such proof:

  • Passing an officially recognized Romanian language test – where available
  • An essay in Romanian 
  • Volunteer work in Romania