Romanian American National Heritage Awards

7th edition, 2023



Awards up to $1,000


Application is Open

Apply here 

Meet the Ambassador in Washington, DC

Learn more: 2022 Edition

The Romanian American National Heritage Award is an annual competition for high school students with Romanian heritage or background. Applicants of non-Romanian descent may qualify as long as their work and experience relate to Romania or the Romanian community in the US.

The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the cohesion of the Romanian community and the preservation of its heritage, language, culture, and traditions.

Granted by the¬†American Romanian Cultural Society¬†and¬†Romanian United Fund,¬†with the endorsement of the¬†Embassy of Romania to the United States, and¬†the support of ARCS Arizona and ARCS Detroit, and our community partners, HORA, Romanians of DC, Casa Romana, and Rom√Ęnul - SUA.¬†The Award Ceremony will be hosted at the¬†Alian»õa¬†Gala on November 29th, 2023.



Recognition and Awards

All eligible participants will receive the official recognition of the Romanian Embassy in the United States, and the top winners will receive awards of up to $1,000 dollars each. 

In the past years, the award has helped the recipients distinguish themselves in their admission process to top colleges and institutions, such as Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, Pitzer College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Whitman College, Purdue University, UW Honors, Harvard, MIT, and many others.

Congratulations to our 2022 Winners:


June 30th 2023 - Submission of Applications Opens

October 15th 2023 - Submission of Applications Closes

October 30th 2023 - Winners Announced 

November 29th 2023 - Award Ceremony at Alianta Gala




‚Äč‚ÄčAge and residence:¬†For the 2023 edition, participants must be enrolled in High School in United States for the 2022-2023 academic year.¬†

Academic standing:¬†Minimum unweighted High School GPA of 3.0 ‚Äď or equivalent, running average for the last school year.

Teamwork: Both individuals and teams can participate in the competition. Participation in teams is encouraged. To encourage leadership and simplify the evaluation process, the maximum team size is 5, including the leader.

There are no Romanian or US citizenship requirements. There are no fees required, this competition is entirely free to participate for eligible students.

‚ÄčEligibility for national participants
The top 5 winners of the regional competitions advance to the national competition.

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used in the evaluation process (not all criteria are required, but they will strengthen your application): 

1) Community work and leadership
The number of volunteering hours and their visible outcome and results will be a strong factor in the evaluation. Where applicable and possible, volunteering and community work in Romania (e.g. groundbreaking projects with children, youth and seniors from underprivileged social backgrounds, or religious and ethnic minorities) will receive the jury's highest consideration. Please highlight this aspect in your application. 

Please provide a detailed description of your working experience, highlighting the ways in which your activity and leadership initiatives impacted the targeted community, strengthening its civic spirit and sense of unity.

If you are looking for opportunities to do community work, and satisfy this criterion next year, signup with RUF Youth to learn about how you can get involved. The volunteering opportunities are multiple especially if you live in the greater Chicago area and can come to ROCO.

2) Essay 
Please submit a short motivational essay that will describe how your community work influenced your own personal growth and brought awarness to your bicultural and bilingual identity in the US. We strongly encourage applicants to model their essay from their college application essays, following a similar structure and attention to detail. The essay shall have no less than 200 words and no more than 650 words.

3) Recommendations from local community leaders
Your essay and recommendations (up to 2) will play an important role in the evaluation process. A formal letter is not required, a name and contact info (email and/or phone number) will be sufficient. The contest organizers will reach out to confirm the recommendations.

Romanian Heritage Connection
Applicants of any cultural background may qualify, as long as they are able to prove their interest, work experience and connection to Romania. 
Examples of such proof:

  • Passing an officially recognized Romanian language test ‚Äď where available
  • An essay in Romanian¬†
  • Volunteer work in Romania
Romanian United Fund


RUF is a 100% pass-through fundraising platform. We help diaspora & local nonprofits in Romania access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective. We do this by connecting NGOs, donors & volunteers from all over the world