The African Youth Excellence Awards

The Focus of the African Youth Excellence Awards is to highlight the accomplishments of “pursuers” in the areas of art, education, information technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and humanitarianism. The objectives are to identify, recognize, and award young Africans pursuing excellence, and to create a networking platform that promotes collaboration.

Who is a Pursuer?

AYE defines a Pursuer as a young person who is striving to gain or accomplish an extraordinary project aimed at highlighting Africa in a positive way. Simply put, a Pursuer is a future achiever.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and not older than 35
  • Be of an African descent (Applicant was born in Africa or born in the US but parents are originally from Africa).
  • Be a resident in the United States. No Exceptions!
  • Show leadership, innovation, creativity, and/or entrepreneurship in their area of focus.
  • High School students must be 18 or turning 18.
  • High School applicants must be graduating students. AYE will verify the academic background of students who are nominated.

Application Deadline

March 14th, 2016 – April 30th, 2016


  • The AYE Award program selects two nominees for each category, but only awards one pursuer per category with the exception of the High School category. This category will be awarded to two students.
  • All applicants will be informed of our decision (acceptance or rejection) via email within 3 weeks of application submission.
  • All selected nominees must submit at least one professional letter of recommendation, a professional headshot, and proof of their project (s) or current achievement(s) 2 weeks after acceptance letter.
  • All accepted nominees are pursuers and will have their stories on our website at least one month before the Awards ceremony.
  • A committee led by the AYE Board of Advisory will utilize the AYE Placement Grid system to select winners for the 2016 Awards. The committee members will be appointed by the AYE Board of Advisory. Names of committee members will be announced on the day of the Awards ceremony.
  • AYE Award winners will be revealed on the day of the Awards.
  • AYE Award winners will be inducted into the AYE fellowship program for a stipulated period of time.

Nominating a Pursuer

  • Specify the award for which the candidate is being nominated
  • Include background information and highlight previous awards received and accomplishments.
  • Explain in detail why the candidate deserves the award. Please give detailed examples of the activities, programs, etc. the candidate is involved in and provide specific information that supports why you are nominating this person.
  • Provide websites or insight on where our reviewers can gather more information on the candidate

Profile Story Requirements

  • Applicants must provide brief background information.
  • Applicants must delve into what makes them a pursuer.
  • Please provide a summary of a project you are working on.
  • Please highlight awards or recognitions you have received.
  • Applicants should provide some insights on their future aspirations.
  • Your profile story must be at least one page, but not more than two pages.

Photo Requirements (For Selected Nominees Only)

  • Nominees must submit an unpublished professional headshot.  
  • A white/gray professional background.
  • Photograph must be up close and of high quality.
  • Photograph must be of high resolution and at least 2mb in size.

Other Relevant Information

  • Please submit all questions and concerns to
  • Please be advised that not all submissions will be accepted. Applicants who do not qualify can reapply next year.
  • Please feel free to submit your profile if you do not find your category but feel that you are qualified.
  • All applications will be subjected to strict scrutiny without any form of bias.

AYE 2016 AWARD Categories

Young African in Arts

This is an award category that uniquely displays a segment of culture and is composed with many endeavors. He or she has either excelled in the area of literature, performing arts, creative writing or visual arts. This individual has established himself or herself to be uniquely different and creative through the concept of art, while displaying awareness for the African culture.

Young African in Public Service

A Young African in Public Service can be acknowledged as an Advocate or a Humanitarian for the African continent. This is an individual who has devoted himself or herself to publicly support a meaningful cause or policy that protects or improves the wellbeing of Africans. He or she is a recognizable source for the promotion of human welfare for Africa as a continent and has made it their mission to reform those that are less fortunate.

Young African in Information Technology

A Young African in IT is an individual who is specialized and has excelled in web application; primarily focusing in areas that include web design, programming, online marketing and application development. He or she has used their highly trained skill to perform within the African community and continuously strives for positive outcomes.

Young African Scholar

A Young African Scholar is an individual who has validated himself or herself to be a highly educated specialist by excelling in a particular area of study. A scholar should exhibit character traits of competitiveness, passion, persistence and authority. He or she must demonstrate him or herself to be an individual of great substance and has the ability to influence and educate the African community to obtain comprehension as well.

Young African Entrepreneur

A Young African Entrepreneur is someone who is courageous, consistent and committed; an individual who has pursued a business venture, overcome the many obstacles posed by the business world and has ultimately attained success. An entrepreneur will also exhibit excellent leadership qualities. This includes possessing and expressing the desire and will power to be an effective leader through endless education, training and experience to successfully guide and influence others. He or she must also have a successful business that can be correlated back to his or her African heritage and ultimately result in enhancing the lives of others.

Young African Leader

A Young African Leader must possess excellent leadership skills. He must have the ability to delegate, the commitment to lead and exhibit high moral standards at all times. He or she must be the founder/cofounder of an organization or hold an executive position at a non-profit organization. He or she has helped the organization identify paths to success and has been instrumental in its implementation. Persons who do not hold executive offices but are actively involved in the advancement of their respective communities shall be considered.

Young African High School Student

This award category focuses on two high school students who have created an exceedingly reputable presence in his or her high school as well as his or her community. These students must have exhibited overall excellence in the areas of leadership, academics and community service in and outside school grounds.

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