Romanian American National Heritage Awards 2024, 8th 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 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.

Granted by the American Romanian Cultural SocietyRomanian United Foundation, FORA, RoAm Pro and Alianța. With the endorsement of the Embassy of Romania to the United States. The Award Ceremony will be hosted at the Alianța Gala in November. 

Please email us at contact@arcsproject.org if you want to join us as a community partner.

See the list of last year's winners here.

Recognition and Awards

All eligible participants will receive the official recognition of the Romanian Embassy in the United States.

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, Cornell University and many others. 

Timeline

June 15 - Submission of Applications Opens
August 25 - Submission of Applications Closes
September 15 - Winners Announced 
November - Award Ceremony in Washinton DC (date and location TBD)

Apply HERE

Eligibility: 
​Age and residence: For the 2024 edition, participants must be enrolled in High School in United States for the 2024-2025 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.

Optional Essay
Submit an essay under 400 words on any of these following topics: 1.a challenge that has taught you to be resilient, or 2. where do you see yourself in 10 years from now, or 3. any topic of your choice. Like with the main essay, we strongly encourage applicants to model the college application essays, following a similar structure and attention to detail. 

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