NOMINATION PROCESS

Selection for the Pathfinder Scholarships is a three-stage process consisting of nomination submission, nomination review/semi-finalists selection and semi-finalists interviews. Judges will select 12 nominees in each category to advance to semi-finalists interviews. Judges’ selections of semi-finalists will be based on a comprehensive review of the completed Online Nomination Submission. Only the semi-finalists in each category will be invited to the final interviews on Tuesday, March 10, 2021.

Eligibility

  • Children of GateHouse Media, Gannett Media, USA Today employees are not eligible to participate.
  • Students must be high school seniors graduating in 2021.
  • Students must attend a public, private or charter high school in Palm Beach or Martin County.  Students must be taking classes either in school or on line.  They must be getting a diploma from a public, private or charter high school.

Online Nomination Submission

The first stage is the nomination submission. Students will complete the Online Nomination Form after their high school has declared them a nominee in a specific category. Students should include all supporting materials, samples of work, transcripts and a photo. The Online Nomination Submission deadline is January 18, 2021

Nomination Review/Semi-finalists Selection

The second stage of the selection process is a thorough review of each candidate’s Online Nomination Submission.   To be considered for a Pathfinder Scholarship, you must submit all materials – including samples of work, supporting materials, transcripts and a photo – by January 11, 2021. Some categories will require a short performance submission as well.

The Pathfinders Judges will review all Online Nomination Submissions.  Judges will read and rate them according to the selection criteria for each category. Judges will select 12 nominees in each category to advance to the semi-finalists interviews.  All nominees will be notified of their status in mid-February.

Semi-finalist Interviews

Semi-finalist interviews comprise the third stage of the selection process. Semi-finalists will be invited to interview with the Pathfinder Judges on March 10, at Palm Beach Atlantic University.*   Students in categories Drama, Forensics/Speech, Music/Instrumental and Music/Vocal will be required to perform for a maximum three minutes during the interview.  Students will be notified with exact interview schedules in late-February. Each student’s interview will be approximately ten (10) minutes and will be conducted by a panel of three judges.

Awards Ceremony

The Pathfinders Scholarship Awards Ceremony will be scheduled in May.** All semi-finalists will be invited to attend the ceremony. Judges will announce the top three winners in each category during the ceremony.

*The Palm Beach Post may elect to host virtual interviews. Staff will provide updated information in advance.
**The Palm Beach Post may elect to host a virtual Awards Ceremony. Staff will notify all invitees well in advance.

The Pathfinder program is subject to change or cancellation

CATEGORIES

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

To the student with the most outstanding comprehensive scholastic record, regardless of specialty. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

ART

To the student who has shown the greatest promise for a career in visual arts, digital arts or fashion design. Examples of artwork should be included with the nominee packet. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

BUSINESS

To the student who has shown the greatest promise for a career in management or marketing, as opposed to a clerical or general office career. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

COMMUNICATIONS

To the student who shows the greatest promise for a career in journalism, digital communications, TV & film production, public relations and graphic design. All nominees are required to submit samples of their work with the nomination packet. No cd’s will be accepted. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

To the student who has achieved outstanding results in meeting the needs of the community outside of school. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

COMPUTER ENGINEERING

To the student who has shown the most outstanding achievements in the study of computer engineering, software engineering or computer science. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

DRAMA

To the student who has shown the greatest promise for a career in drama. Judging will be based on nominees’ prior performances and participation in school and/or community productions as well as the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement. Please upload a short video that showcases one of your performances.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

To the student who has shown the greatest proficiency in the speaking and writing of a non-native, spoken language. English and American Sign Language do not apply.  Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement. Please upload a short video that showcases your speaking skills.

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FORENSICS/SPEECH

To the student with the most outstanding personal record in public speaking or forensic competition. Judging will be based on nominees’ prior record as well as the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement. Please upload a short video that showcases your speaking skills.

HISTORY/POLITICAL SCIENCE

To the student with the best record in either history, political science or both, including the general study of and participation in government. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

LITERATURE

To the student who has shown the most outstanding achievement in either the appreciation of literature and/or creative writing, including poetry. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

MATHEMATICS

To the student who has shown the most outstanding achievement in math or one of the applied sciences. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

MUSIC/INSTRUMENTAL

To the student who has shown the greatest instrumental musical talent, regardless of musical style, in composition, performance or both. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement. Please upload a short video that showcases one of your performances.

MUSIC/VOCAL

To the student who has shown the greatest vocal talent, regardless of musical style, in composition, performance or both. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement. Please upload a short video that showcases one of your performances.

REACH FOR EXCELLENCE

To the student who has a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) or dyslexia and an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The student will be judged on their awareness of their diagnosis and ability to articulate their struggles and what they have done to overcome these challenges academically. (Not sorely GPA or IEP driven). For further explanation, please consult with the ESE contact at your school.

SCIENCE

To the student who has shown the most outstanding achievement in the study of a natural science (physics, chemistry, geology, biology or engineering). Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

SPORTS

To the student with the most outstanding combination of athletic accomplishments and scholastic achievements. Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

VOCATIONAL CAREER

To the student who has shown the greatest promise for a career in a vocational program of study. The study areas included in this category are Architecture/Construction, Motor/Power (Automotive, Energy), Agriculture and Public Safety & Security (Emergency & Fire management, Law Enforcement, ROTC and Security Protection). Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

Pathfinders is partially funded by the N&DS Franklin Fund,
a permanent endowment left to Pathfinders to fund scholarships in perpetuity