OMEGA Scholarship Background & Application

2016-2017 OMEGA Scholarship Application

OMEGA: Opportunities for Multigenerational Engagement, Growth, and Action

Thank you for your interest in applying for the OMEGA Scholarship. Through the generous sponsorship of The New England University Transportation Center, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab, and AARP, OMEGA is proud to offer three new $1000 college scholarships to recognize and reward the efforts that young adults are making to create multigenerational connections. High school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for scholarships. Each OMEGA scholarship will award a $1000 college scholarship to the winning student and $1000 to the winning student’s high school organization to support its activities to build relationships between teens and older adults. Three separate scholarships are available; one OMEGA scholarship will be awarded in each of the following categories: Transportation and Community; Technology; and Social Connectivity. The presentation of awards will take place at a ceremony at MIT. See below for a brief description of the scholarship sponsors, goals, judging criteria, and eligibility requirements, followed by the scholarship application.

Any questions for MIT AgeLab staff leading up to the submission deadline are welcome; in fact, students are highly encouraged to set up a phone call or in-person meeting with MIT AgeLab Staff between January and March to discuss progress of students’ projects/programs. To set up a meeting or phone call, e-mail or call 617-253-3506.

About the MIT AgeLab:
The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 to invent new ideas and creatively translates technologies into practical solutions that improve people’s health and enable them to “do things” throughout the lifespan. Equal to the need for ideas and new technologies is the belief that innovations in how products are designed, services are delivered, or policies are implemented are of critical importance to our quality of life tomorrow. The MIT AgeLab is a multidisciplinary research program that works with business, government, and NGOs to improve the quality of life of older people and those who care for them. The AgeLab applies consumer-centered systems thinking to understand the challenges and opportunities of longevity and emerging generational lifestyles to catalyze innovation across business markets.

About The New England University Transportation Center:
The New England University Transportation Center leverages the region’s unique richness in both high-technology innovation and transportation expertise to conduct research activities that support the advancement of USDOT’s strategic goals and research priorities. Through research and education projects across five universities, the New England University Transportation Center sponsors investigation into the national transportation system, focusing its research investments on safety and livable communities. The Center's members draw students and research support from around the country and the world to address research topics of national, regional, and international importance.

About AARP:
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. AARP advocates for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help AARP’s members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.

About OMEGA:
OMEGA was created by the MIT AgeLab to support the development and growth of student programs and clubs that connect high school students with older adults. The goal of OMEGA is to strengthen relationships and promote connections across generations. OMEGA convenes several student summits each year in an effort to encourage students to connect across generations, brainstorm and share programming ideas, and plan intergenerational activities.

Judging Criteria:
• Creativity: The extent to which your project/program demonstrates an engaging intergenerational approach.
• Impact: The extent to which your project/program creatively and effectively responds to a significant problem or need.
• Sustainability: The extent to which your project/program is ongoing and repeatable in the future.
• Quality: The extent to which the short answer essays are well-written, well thought-out, organized, and edited. Photos and
other forms of digital media documenting your program/project are encouraged.
• Recommendation: How the student’s club advisor or organizational contact regard the student’s contributions and
leadership efforts.

Eligibility Requirements:
• Applicants must be current high school juniors or seniors serving in leadership roles connecting high school students and
older adults, and attending school in one of the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
• Applicants must be US Citizens, US Nationals, or US Permanent Residents.
• Applicants must be anticipating completion of a high school diploma at the time of application and planning to pursue a
degree at an accredited US post-secondary institution.
• In any year, an applicant may apply for an award in only one category. Juniors who win an award are eligible to be
considered for a second award in one of the other two categories during their senior year.
• One letter of recommendation attesting to an applicant’s contributions to generational engagement and connection must
accompany the application. The letter should come from either the student group advisor or from a representative of the
organization serving older adults.
• A completed application for the scholarship must be received, including selection of the category for which the applicant
would like to be considered. Applications should be based on a program/project already implemented.
• Scholarship winners will present their work at the Spring OMEGA Summit or Award Reception.