Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Connecticut State Treasurer
Civic Award
Past Programs

Civic Engagement

Interview a community, civic, or government leader for a chance to receive one of 160 merit scholarships.


Identify a community, civic, or government leader to interview.

Choose a pastor, educator, youth program director, coach, non-profit representative, or government leader from your town or state.


Contact the person you’d like to interview and introduce yourself, if you don’t already know them.

Tell them you are applying for the CHET Advance Scholarship. Ask if they have 30 minutes to be interviewed.


Schedules are busy, so be creative.

If you can’t meet in-person, schedule a time to talk on the phone or through a video chat.


Prepare for your interview and take notes.

We’ve provided suggested questions below to get your conversation started, as well as the application questions for you to answer.


Click on the Application button to start or complete your application.

Submit your application by March 12, 2020!


Get the conversation started with these questions to ask during the interview:

  • How did you get involved in your current leadership position / role?
  • At what age did you start to become involved in civic engagement activities?
  • Who is someone that has had an impact on you as a community leader, and how did they inspire you?
  • What is the most important core belief that guides your leadership?
  • How do you stay motivated and inspired?
  • How do you encourage teamwork and engage others?
  • How can youth get involved in your organization or other civic activities?
  • What skills do you think are most important so that young people can feel empowered to contribute to society?
  • How can young people become agents of change in their own community and why is that important?

Answer the following questions on the application to be eligible for the merit scholarship:

  • How did / does the person you interview inspire you? (Word limit 150)
  • What was the most valuable insight you gained through your conversation? (Word limit 150)
  • What does civic engagement mean to you? What are your future goals to have a voice or leadership role in your own community and how do you hope to achieve your aspirations? (Word limit 250)

Responses will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of critical thinking and reflection about the subject of civic engagement.
  • Organization and overall presentation of responses.
  • Spelling and grammar.

State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden, as Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), is the sponsor of the CHET Advance Scholarship.

CHET Advance Scholarship is funded by TIAA Tuition Financing, Inc. and The Hartford, plan managers for CHET Direct-Sold and CHET Advisor-Sold programs respectively; no state funds or CHET account participant fees are used for awards. International Scholarship and Tuition Services, which has more than 25 years of scholarship administration experience, manages the application process with oversight from TIAA and the State Treasurer’s Office.

CHET Advance