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JEDI Award
The JEDI Ocean Award

Calling all Black, Latinx, POC and Indigenous Sonoma County teens! Marine Conservation Institute is pleased to be offering the JEDI Ocean Award for high school students interested in pursuing studies in marine science and conservation biology.

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) prize will reward two promising local high schoolers from historically underrepresented demographics in conservation. Two winners will receive:

  •  A $300 prize to help further their ocean studies
  • A one-on-one mentorship session with a marine conservationist
  • Free enrollment in the Eco-Conscious Diver’s Complete Introduction to Marine Conservation course
  • A social media takeover opportunity that allows them to share their story with the world
  • Publication of their winning essay on Marine Conservation Institute’s internationally read blog

Who Can Apply:

All BIPOC Sonoma County high schoolers who care about protecting the ocean. All experience levels welcome.

How To Apply:

Kiran Manoj Seastar

We want to know your story! You can use any combination of words, photos or art to tell us who you are, what your connection is with the ocean, why you think the ocean is worth protecting, and what future you imagine for yourself in ocean science or conservation. (Please no more than 500 words or—if using additional media—no more than 2 pages).

Some ideas to get you started:

  • What first sparked your interest in the ocean? (Do you remember an experience, a lesson, a movie, a story?)
  • If you’re including pictures—where did you take them? What was happening in them? What story do they help tell?
  • If you’re including illustrations, describe them—do they show a memory, or something that you imagine for your future?
  • What do you love about the ocean? What questions do you have about it?
  • If you could help save the ocean, what skills would you use to do it? Science? Poetry? Law? Exploration? If there were no limits, what ocean career could you see yourself pursuing?
  • Why is the ocean important?
  • What does the ocean mean to you?
  • What’s your favorite thing about the ocean (a particular smell, or feeling, or creature, or fact?)
  • If you had to describe the ocean using only three words, what would they be? If you had to describe yourself using only three words, what would they be?

Applications can be sent directly to

Please include:

  • Your application (no more than 2 pages)
  • A current resume
  • The email address of a high school teacher for a reference (we will reach out to them with a brief questionnaire)
  • Your full name, grade, and hometown

DEADLINE: 2021 applications are closed--congratulations to our winners! 2022 applications to be announced.

Ocean health and social justice are tightly linked, and the voices that guide ocean and climate solutions must be diverse and representative. Help us continue to provide awards and fellowships for diverse young leaders in ocean conservation.