2021 'GritGrant' Awards Winner Announcement

Congratulations to the 2021 'GritGrant'Award Winners

Grit is inspirational. It comes from passion, perseverance and a never quit attitude.

~ Jim McKenzie, The McKenzie Foundation

The McKenzie Foundation established GritGrants to reward students who overcome adversity to reach their goals. These students motivate others not to quit no matter the difficulty.

The spirit of this award is based on the belief that Grit is the ability to persist in something one is passionate about and persevere when things seem too tough to keep going.  More on the contest here.

Eligible students were enrolled in high school INCubatoredu / ACCELeratoredu and/or MobileMakersEdu / MobileMakersStudio programs in Uncharted Learning member schools in the 20-21 school year. These students were nominated by their teachers who observed their behavior and attitude during a particularly challenging school year.


Here are the winners...

  • Evan Boller, Sophomore, Waukesha North High School
  • Ravon Johnson Taylor, Senior, Rock Island-Milan School District
  • Lukas Langjahr, Junior, The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship
  • Daniel Salyers, Senior, South-Western City Schools
Congratulations!  Thank you to all who submitted and stay on the look out for students who never give up!




The McKenzie Foundation was established in 2014 to inspire peace through kindness and education. To illustrate this philanthropic mission, its founders, Maureen and James McKenzie, along with their children, Alexandra, Samuel and Joseph, lead the Foundation to fund nonprofits working on peacemaking through education and the improvement of the human spirit. The Foundation believes in building the capacity of its partners and the realization of their commitments. As active impact donors, the Foundation aligns its mission with grant-making goals. Outside of this work, the Foundation makes discretionary donations by invitation.


Uncharted Learning is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to kick start students for life by equipping them with real-world skills. We help inspire students to discover their passions, strengthen their capabilities and create their own futures. Our programs offer authentic, rigorous entrepreneurship experiences to students in more than 300 schools across the United States, Australia and Japan. Real entrepreneurs and business experts serve as volunteer coaches and mentors, guiding student teams through the process of creating and testing hypotheses to develop viable business models and mobile apps. INCubatoredu / ACCELeratoredu and MobileMakersEdu / MobileMakersStudio are offered in high schools, mxINCedu in middle schools, and freshINCedu in elementary schools.