Changes made to ALA’s Spirit of Youth, Non-Traditional Student scholarships

Posted On: Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Change can be a good thing, and in the case of American Legion Auxiliary scholarships, recent changes approved by the National Executive Committee are benefiting more students across the country.  
National Headquarters reviewed the ALA’s national scholarships to see if changes could financially help even more students. 
For the Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior members, National will award each department winner a $1,000 scholarship and the national Education Committee will select five winners (one per division) for a $5,000 scholarship. 
The Spirit of Youth Scholarship fund is an umbrella that supports three separate scholarship opportunities for participants in American Legion Auxiliary programs. In addition to the Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior members, there are scholarships for Junior Members of the Year and participants in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation program. 
To reward our Junior members who are actively participating in the ALA’s mission, we expanded the Junior Member of the Year (JMOY) program:

  • One overall national JMOY will win a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a trip to the ALA’s National Convention.
  • Four division JMOY winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Juniors must be at least in eighth grade or eighth grade equivalent and may win only once. 
Additionally, National Headquarters looked at The American Legion Boys Nation scholarships and compared them to our ALA Girls Nation offerings: 
  • The ALA Girls Nation president, vice president, and two outstanding senators each will receive a $2,000 scholarship. 
  • The ALA Girls Nation outstanding junior counselor will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Non-Traditional Student scholarship also has a change: expanding the eligibility. Now — along with ALA, The American Legion, and Sons of The American Legion members who are non-traditional students — the following people can also apply: 
  • A veteran who served in the United States Armed Forces and was honorably discharged.
  • The spouse of an active-duty servicemember or a veteran who was honorably discharged.
For this scholarship, one $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually per Auxiliary geographic division, for a total of five scholarship winners. Applicants may be pursuing training in a certified, trade, professional, or technical program, or a two-year or four-year degree program. 
The Spirit of Youth and Non-Traditional scholarship applications are both online. Applications will be received at ALA National Headquarters then routed to the appropriate department (state) for the first round of judging.
For more information on these scholarships or to apply, visit Deadline is March 1 of each calendar year. 

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.