VOYA Unsung Heros Award Program

2017 Key Issues Institute Teacher Scholarships
March 17, 2017
NEA Foundations Grants
March 23, 2017

VOYA Unsung Heros Award Program

With over $5 million in awarded grants, the Voya Unsung HeroesTM Awards Program has proven to be an A+ program with educators. The program’s “alumni” have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

The program is administered by Scholarship America, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals.


Applicants to the Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program must be:

  • Employed by an accredited K-12 public or private school located in the United States.
  • Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff with effective and innovative projects that improve student learning.

All K-12 education professionals, whether or not they are clients of Voya Financial® are eligible.

Applications must be verified by the school superintendent, principal or applicant’s immediate supervisor. If selected as a finalist, the school official will be contacted to verify your employment status and proposed project.

Program Deadline

Your application must be submitted on or before April 30, 2017.


All awards must be used to further the projects, as described in the submitted application, within the school or school system. Indirect costs or administrative fees should not be paid or withheld from the grant award. Each of the 100 finalists will receive an award of $2,000. At least one award will be granted in each of the 50 United States, provided one or more qualified applications are received from each state.  Of the 100 finalists, three will be selected for additional financial awards. First place will receive a bonus of $25,000; second place will receive a bonus of $10,000, and the third place winner will receive a bonus of $5,000.

Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, disability, or national origin.

Previous recipients of the Unsung Heroes awards are not eligible to apply for another award.

Application Process

  • Start by clicking Register to Apply at the bottom of this page. You will need to read and agree to a consent statement, supply a unique and valid email address, and create a username and password.
  • Correspondence throughout the application process will be by email. Email messages will be sent to the username and email address registered when you created your account. Applicants failing to use a valid active email account that will accommodate bulk mail may not receive consideration. Be sure to add unsungheroes@scholarshipamerica.org to your contacts or address book and check your email regularly!
  • Complete the application by entering data in the format described. Proper punctuation and standard capitalization (Jill Smith, 10 Main Street, New York, NY) must be used.
  • During the application process, you may leave the site prior to submission by clicking on the Save and Log out link located on each application page. To return to the application, you must login using your username and password.
  • Applications are evaluated on the information supplied; therefore answer all questions as completely as possible. Incomplete applications as of the application deadline will not be processed.
  • Applications must be submitted electronically by the deadline in order for your application to be processed.
  • Once all application requirements are satisfied, the Lock and Submit button will be available to you near the bottom of the Review Application page.
  • Carefully review your application before clicking the Lock and Submit button. Once submitted, you will no longer have access to your application.
  • It is recommended that you print a hard copy of your application for your records.
  • You will receive an email acknowledgment of your submitted application.

Selection and Notification

All applicants will receive notification via email by June 30, 2017 with the status of their application.

Scholarship America will select 100 finalists. The Educators Advisory Board, consisting of teachers and education administrators, will select recipients of the top three awards in the summer of 2017. By Fall 2017, all finalists will be notified whether or not they have been selected to receive a bonus award.

This is a competitive program. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as finalists. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final; due to the number of applications, individual feedback will not be given.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America processes award payments on behalf of Voya. Payments for awards will be presented no later than December 2017 to recipients by local agents of Voya. Award checks are made payable jointly to the recipient and to his or her school.


Recipients have no obligation to Voya Financial. They are, however, required to notify Scholarship America of any changes in address or other relevant information, and to provide a detailed accounting of the award, if requested.


Voya Financial reserves the right to review the conditions and procedures of this program and to make changes at any time, including termination of the program.

Contact Us

Email: unsungheroes@scholarshipamerica.org

Call: 1-507-931-1682 and ask for the Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program