Deadline approaching to apply for youth recognition award

Deadline approaching to apply for youth recognition award

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Fifteen-year-old Cleveland Yates is calling on youth across the city of Memphis to apply for the National Civil Rights Museum's 2017 Keeper of The Dream Award.

The museum and award show sponsor International Paper is seeking applications from students in grades six through 12 who are making a difference in their schools and communities.  New this year are two grade categories: Two winners in grades six to eight, and two in grades nine through 12 will be selected.

Yates, the host of teen show Kidz Do Pozitive Thingz (KDPT), helped launch the campaign with this promotional video in which the deadline to enter is 5 p.m., Sept. 8, 2017.

Cleveland is a rising Junior at Briarcrest Christian School and was one of the 2016 Keeper of the Dream Award winners recognized for launching his own non-profit organization for KDPT and his online show, Cleveland and the Community.

The Keeper of the Dream Award Student Forum will be held on Oct. 19, 2017 in parallel to the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award, which includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Peter Jennings.

Award Eligibility Requirements:

  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Nominees must not have reached their 19th birthday before Oct. 19, 2017.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Must be resident of the Memphis metropolitan area. The metropolitan area includes Crittenden County in Arkansas; Benton, DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Tunica counties in Mississippi; plus Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties in Tennessee.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Must not be child or relative of an employee of International Paper or the National Civil Rights Museum.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Two winners will be selected in the grades six to eight category and two in the nine to12 category.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Past winners of the Keeper of the Dream award are not eligible to win.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Nominations may not be made by a relative or family member of the nominee.
  • style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Nominee’s parent or guardian must sign a media release, give International Paper Keeper of the Dream nomination review committee permission to confirm nominee’s school enrollment and review of nominee’s social media presence.


  • Teachers, community organization staff and youth leaders are encouraged to submit nominations by the deadline of Sept. 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. central via the following Keeper of the Dream Nomination Form
  • Application Questions:
    • Nominee’s date of birth
    • Nominee’s email
    • Nominee’s address
    • Nominee’s phone
    • Nominee’s parent or guardian/phone/email
    • Nominee’s school/grade
    • Submit a 150-200 word essay that describes the act of courage, compassion or leadership the nominee demonstrated that showed a commitment to ensuring equal rights and compassion for others.  Please be specific and describe any obstacles they may have faced during the course of their service.
    • List organizations served by nominee
    • Provide hours served or schedule of service
    • Certify you are not a relative of the nominee
  • An award nomination review committee from the sponsoring organizations will review applications and select finalists in each age group category.
  • Award finalists will be allowed to submit one letter of reference and a 250 word essay.
  • style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white;">Nominee parent or guardian must sign photo release, and confirm child’s good standing at currently enrolled school and acknowledge that International Paper will review the nominee’s social media presence to finalize award eligibility by Sept. 29.

Award Recipient Receive:

  • $500 monetary award
  • Award trophy
  • One-year family membership for family of five to the National Civil Rights Museum.

If you have any questions regarding the award or process, please contact:

Amy Grow
Manager, Community Engagement
International Paper
Phone: 901 419 4325

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