Teachers: Nominate Your Student to be Awarded $2500

A 750-word teacher recommendation could mean a $2,500 GritGrant™️ for your student

The McKenzie Foundation and Uncharted Learning are pleased to announce the submission process for the 2022 GritGrant™ Awards.

WHO is Eligible?  Students currently enrolled in high school INCubatoredu/ACCELeratoredu and/or MobileMakersEdu/MobileMakersStudio programs and nominated by teachers from Uncharted Learning member schools through a recommendation letter are eligible. 

WHAT are GritGrants?  GritGrants are cash awards that recognize students who overcome adversity to reach their goals. The award winners motivate others not to quit no matter the difficulty. This year, four students will receive $2,500 each for a total of $10,000 in grants.

WHEN are recommendations due? The submission window for recommendation letters opens April 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM CST. and are due no later than May 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST. 

WHERE will the Awards be announced?  Awards will be announced at the Uncharted Learning National Summit on July 13, 2022.

WHY GritGrants? The McKenzie Foundation established GritGrants to:

  1. Reward the “Grit” of students who successfully overcome adversity.
  2. Motivate others that no obstacle is insurmountable.

“Grit” is inspirational. It comes from passion, perseverance and a never quit attitude.  The McKenzie Foundation wants to encourage student passion and perseverance when things seem too tough to keep going. 

HOW will GritGrants be awarded: GritGrants will be based on a student’s Grit and Character. Elements of “Grit” include: 

  • Optimism, confidence and creativity 
  • Resilience despite fear
  • Laser-like focus on meaningful goals
  • and Excellence not perfection. 

Elements of “Character” refers to ways of thinking, acting, and feeling that benefit others as well as ourselves. Character includes:

  • Heart - such as gratitude and kindness, enabling harmonious relationships with other people. 
  • Mind - such as curiosity and creativity, enable independent thinking. 
  • Will - such as discipline and self-control).

Students will be evaluated on their demonstration of these characteristics and qualities in working towards their goals.


Teachers from Uncharted Learning member schools can each nominate two students to represent their school’s INCubatoredu/ACCELeratoredu and/or MobileMakersEdu/MobileMakersStudio programs. 

Nominations are made by INCubatoredu or MobileMakersEdu teachers using this link.

The recommendation letter must include the following:

  • School Name and Address
  • Teacher Name and Email
  • Name of Student and Graduation Year
  • Description of Student’s “Grit” and “Character” (not to exceed 750 words) 
  • Nominations will be considered based on authenticity of content.

No minimum GPA level is required.

The submission window opens on April 11, 2022, at 8:00 AM CST. Recommendation letters are due no later than May 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST.

GritGrant™ nominations are reviewed by a committee of community champions and recipients are selected in a final round by a panel of entrepreneurs.



The McKenzie Foundation was established 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.