2020 Award for Excellence in Educational Access

2020 Award Nominations Now Being Accepted – Submit Your Nomination Now!

For the fifth year in a row, NPEA Member Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will generously sponsor the Award for Excellence in Educational Access. The Award will recognize an NPEA member organization or program that has made a notable difference in the lives of underserved students and has demonstrated:

  1. Effective practices in supporting underserved students with high-quality educational opportunities along the K-16 continuum;
  2. Commitment to using data to inform and improve programming as well as organizational/program practices more broadly;
  3. Support for students’ personal growth and success as critical thinkers, ethical leaders, and supportive community members;
  4. Commitment to sustainability, including evidence of systems that support long-term success and/or potential growth;
  5. Leadership in the community and commitment to the field of educational access; and
  6. Creative problem-solving, innovation, adaptability, and productive growth in meeting the needs of their constituents.

Nomination Instructions:

Download an overview document outlining the Award details, review a PDF of the Award nomination, and submit a nomination by Friday, February 21. All nominations will be reviewed by a committee, and the winner will be announced at the 2020 NPEA Conference in Boston this April.

Note: Programs may nominate themselves!


Important Eligibility Information:

This year’s Award is designed to recognize an NPEA Member Organization or Program. Members must be in good standing and must be able to demonstrate program/organizational impact, results, and student success. Schools, colleges and universities, and individuals are not eligible to apply, though we hope to provide an opportunity for these members to apply in future years.

**Please note: Programs or initiatives operating within a school may be eligible to apply; please contact Carrie with any questions and/or for clarification.


The winner of the award will be announced at the 2020 national conference, held on April 15-17, 2020 at the Royal Sonesta Boston Hotel in Cambridge, MA. Please note: While encouraged, nominees are not required to attend the conference to be eligible for the award.

In addition to a formal announcement and recognition at the conference, the award winner will receive:

  • A $5,000 monetary award for the member organization/program, made possible through the generous award sponsor, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Recognition on the NPEA website, NPEA’s Twitter and Facebook pages, and in the NPEA newsletter

View the press release for more information about the partnership between NPEA and the Cooke Foundation for this year’s Award.


Please contact Carrie Tate, NPEA Associate Director, or Karin Elliott, NPEA Executive Director.

Submit a Nomination!

Previous Winners

To read about the winner of the 2019 Award for Excellence in Educational Access, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), please click here.

To read about the winner of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Educational Access, Chicago Scholars, please click here.

To read about the winner of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Educational Access, “I Have a Dream” – Des Moines, please click here.

To read about the winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Educational Access, LINK Unlimited Scholars, please click here.

To read about the winner of the 2015 Award for Excellence in Collaboration, The Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School, please click here.

Past winners also include Buffalo Prep (2014), Aim High (2013), The Partners Program at The College Preparatory School (2012), and Middle Grades Partnership (2011).