The Romanian American National Heritage Award is an annual competition for youth 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 diaspora in the US. 

The award aims to unify the Romanian diaspora in the US and strengthen its visibility worldwide. It recognizes exceptional contributions to the cohesion of the Romanian community and the preservation of its culture and traditions.

Eligibility for participation
​Age and residence:
 The competition is open to current High School students living and studying in the United States. Participants must be enrolled in a High School (public, private, home schooled) during the month of September 2019 - 2020.

Academic: 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.

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, bringing awareness to the role of the Romanian language and traditions in shaping the Romanian American identity and legacy in the US. The description should be either in Romanian or in English, and should not exceed 650 words. 

2) Essay 
Please submit an essay 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 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 backgrounds 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

2020 Registration and competition timeline

January 6, 2020

- Registration opens

Fill out the registration form:

July 15, 2020

- Application deadline

August 15th, 2020

- State and regional winners announced

August 20th, 2020

- National winners announced

To be announced

- Award ceremony at the 2020 Alianța Gala in Washington D.C. 

* For past editions, winners and photos, please visit Romanian American Heritage Award page.

ARCS Summer Program - Romanian in the Sky and Outer Space


Aug. 3 2021 09:00 AM
Aug. 21 2021 03:00 PM


University of Washington, Seattle
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