Award Overview

New Leaders is launching the 2020-2021 Roberts Award to recognize outstanding alumni who develop innovative solutions to address COVID-19-related challenges within their school communities.  The Roberts Award provides grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to support the health and learning of low-income students and students of color as schools experience closures, hybrid learning, and/or other disruptions due to the public health crisis.  Awardees will be announced in December 2020.

Applications are due Monday, November 23, 2020


Up to 25 alumni will each be awarded up to $10,000 to fund projects the school has identified as a priority for their students and community during this unique and challenging year. Examples include:

  • Technology devices
  • Licenses or subscriptions
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Food security initiatives
  • Social-emotional support
  • Staffing


This award is open to all alumni of the Aspiring Principals and Emerging Leaders programs. Alumni can receive no more than three Roberts Award grants over time. Awardees will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • The alum has identified a clear need to serve the school community as a whole or a subset of students within the school. Additionally, the alum has thoughtfully developed a project that will have a significant, measurable impact on the health and wellbeing and/or academic achievement of those students.
  • The project can be carried out despite the possibility of a change in how school is held (e.g., fully remote, hybrid, in-person).
  • The school has a separate 501(c)3 to receive the funds directly, or can accommodate donation processing by some other means.


Alumni recipients of the Roberts Award are expected to attend a virtual welcoming ceremony, promote the award and/or additional New Leaders opportunities through social media, and submit updates according to the reporting timeline..