The West Hollywood Cheerleaders will recognize and celebrate exceptional young leaders in southern California who inspire a positive impact in their communities, perform outstanding acts of kindness or create change through activism. Since 1986, the Cheerleaders’ mission has been to empower others through education and visibility in the community. The Varsity Awards shines a light on our next generation of community activists.

Application deadline is June 30, 2019

Who is eligible?

Young people age 16-22 living in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura Counties

Number of awards available in 2019:

A total of three awards

Award description:

Each recipient will receive a plaque and $500 cash grant

Examples of social and community issues:

  • HIV: PrEP and Treatment as Prevention
  • Trans Equality
  • Alternative Sexualities and Non-binary Awareness
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Anti bullying/Cyberbullying
  • Teen Suicide Prevention
  • LGBTQ Allies
  • Addiction
  • Consent
  • Sex Positivity
  • Body Positivity
  • Access to feminine hygiene products
  • Drag As Platform For Activism
  • Community Organizing
  • Homelessness
  • Climate Science
  • Gun Reform
  • An issue you are passionate about

Nomination process:

Applicants must be nominated by a teacher, school or camp counselor, employer, peer, organization leader, etc. The person nominating can not be a family member or affiliated with the West Hollywood Cheerleaders. Nominations can be made at

Nomination period opens March 15, 2019.

Application process

Application deadline is June 30, 2019

  • Submit a 500-1000 word written essay OR 3-5 minute video describing your project and why you should be considered for a Varsity Award. Please discuss your target audience, the resources utilized to propel and sustain your project and, ultimately, the change you would like to see as a result of your work.
  • Two letters of recommendation. One reference must be from the person who nominated the applicant. The references may not be a family member or have an affiliation with the West Hollywood Cheerleaders.
  • Sign a legal release for the use of your likeness and application on social media. You acknowledge the contents of your application will become the property of the West Hollywood Cheerleaders and will not be returned to the applicant.
  • Award recipients are encouraged to participate in discussion panels for young leaders at local  events.
  • Applicants and award recipients are encouraged to march with the Cheerleaders in the LA Pride Parade in June
  • Award recipients will be notified no later than July 15, 2019

Letters of recommendation:

  • Applicant must provide TWO letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the person who nominated the applicant. The references may not be a family member or have an affiliation with the West Hollywood Cheerleaders.
  • Letters of recommendation must be submitted with the application and postmarked OR received no later than June 30, 2019
  • Please include the applicant’s name, the length of time you’ve known the applicant and in what capacity you have worked with the applicant
  • Include your name, daytime phone number and email address
  • In 250 to 500 words please touch on the impact the applicant has made in their community, the applicant’s strengths, any obstacles the applicant has overcome, the applicant’s ability work independently as a self-starter and the applicant’s ability to collaborate with and inspire others.

Varsity Award Selection Committee:

  • The selection committee will be composed of five West Hollywood Cheerleaders
  • The selection of recipients is based on merit without bias in regards to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexuality or national origin.
  • Applications that have met all the requirements (see application checklist) will be evaluated and given a point score on the following criteria:
  1. Community impact 20 pts
  2. Effective use of resources 20 pts
  3. Vision 20 pts
  4. Originality 20 pts
  5. Letters of recommendation 20 pts
  6. Total 100pts
  • The three applications receiving the highest combined scores will be selected to receive a Varsity Award.
  • Award recipients will be notified no later than June 30, 2019