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 nominees in each category to advance to semi-finalist 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 in March 2022.

Eligibility

  • Children of GateHouse Media, Gannett Media, USA Today employees are not eligible to participate.
  • Students must be high school seniors graduating in 2022.
  • 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 online. 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 will be in January 2022.

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 the January deadline. Some categories will require a short performance submission, as well. See Category listings below for any special requirements needed in submission. 

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-finalist 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 virtually with the Pathfinder Judges in March 2022.  Students in Drama, Forensics/Speech, Music/Instrumental, and Music/Vocal categories should be prepared to perform for a maximum of 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 Pathfinder Scholarship Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place virtually in May. The top three winners in each category will be announced.

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. Three examples of artwork should be included with the nominee submission. 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 three samples of their work with the nominee submission. 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. Submission should include a short video showcasing one performance by the nominee. (Video should be no longer than three minutes in length.) 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.

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. Submission should include one short video showcasing the nominees’ speaking skills. (Video should be no longer than three minutes in length.) Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

FORENSICS/SPEECH

To the student with the most outstanding personal record in public speaking or forensic competition. Submission should include one short video showcasing the nominees’ speaking skills. (Video should be no longer than three minutes in length.) Judging will be based on nominees’ prior record, as well as the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

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. All nominees are required to submit three samples of their work with the nominee submission. 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. Submission should include a short video showcasing one performance by the nominee. (Video should be no longer than three minutes in length.) Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

MUSIC/VOCAL

To the student who has shown the greatest vocal talent, regardless of musical style, in composition, performance or both. Submission should include a short video showcasing one performance by the nominee. (Video should be no longer than three minutes in length.) Judging will be based on the nominees’ accomplishments, academic achievements and community engagement.

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.