The GGSC Announces “Purpose Challenge” Scholarship Winners

March 22, 2018

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, in collaboration with Santa Monica-based consulting firm ProSocial and with funding from the John Templeton Foundation, is delighted to announce the winners of the Purpose Challenge Scholarship Contest. Our winners will receive college scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The winners are six high school seniors who participated in the essay contest that was at the center of the Challenge. Their essays were guided by the Purpose Challenge Toolkit, a resource that the GGSC produced to help students around the United States better identify and articulate their sense of purpose. 

“The Purpose Toolkit allowed me to discover my true sense of purpose,” says Camryn Morrow, who was awarded a $25,000 scholarship for her essay on social justice in education. “I have always had an idea about what I like to do and what I care about, but the Toolkit helped me further understand this passion. I learned that I have the ability to make a positive mark on the world and that I should not take this lightly.”

For the Purpose Challenge, the GGSC invited students to use the Toolkit, then submit a short essay reflecting what they learned. These essays were supposed to clearly identify a long-term goal and succinctly articulate why this goal is personally meaningful to them and valuable to the world at large.

More than 2,800 students submitted an essay to the Challenge. Then a team of expert reviewers, which included GGSC staff members and Professor Kendall Cotton Bronk of Claremont Graduate University, reviewed those submissions before deciding on the six winners.

“Judging the essays was really challenging,” says GGSC Education Director Vicki Zakrzewski. “But I think the overall feeling the judges had after reading these essays was that, if these students do indeed spend their lives pursuing their purposes, then the future of our world is in good hands!”

“Attending college can be very expensive and this [scholarship] takes off a large chunk of the financial strain that would have been put on me,” says Morrow. “During my first year of college, this scholarship allows me to focus on my studies rather than having to worry about how I am paying for my education.”

While the scholarship contest has ended, the Purpose Challenge Toolkit remains live as an online resource to help teens find and define their sense of purpose in life.

Congratulations to all six winners!

Purpose Challenge Winners

$25,000 Scholarship

Camryn Morrow

Camryn Morrow is a senior creative writing major at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. She plans to major in sociology at the University of Cincinnati as part of her goal to improve underrepresented youth in the education system by working towards inclusion and equal access. Read her essay here.

$5,000 Scholarships


Jordan Bucknor, a senior at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, has dreams of breaking into the film industry, with the goal of increasing representation in film. Expect to see her works breaking barriers and breaking stereotypes, one story at a time. Read her essay here.


Liam Conrad attends St. Edmond School in Fort Dodge, Iowa. During his senior year, he worked as a page at the Iowa House of Representatives. Next year, he will attend Drake University with a major in International Relations. Read his essay here.


Mariah Jordan is a senior at Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She plans on attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study biology and aspires to obtain an M.D./Ph.D. degree so she can work on eradicating health disparities through genetic research. Read her essay here.


Devan Roper is an urban naturalist, a diversity champion, and a service-minded individualist. She attends New Explorations into Science, Technology, and Math in New York City and lives in Long Island City.  Devan aspires to study Intercultural Studies and Spanish in college, preparing her for a life of service in Latin America. She plans to attend college in California. Read her essay here.


Tyler Zangaglia, a senior at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington, is founder of The Hope Festival, which provides necessities for in-need individuals across several Seattle suburban communities. Tyler will be pursuing a business degree this fall and has yet to select which college he’ll attend. Read his essay here.

blog comments powered by Disqus