Rewarding ‘extraordinary' New Yorkers with The David Prize

New Yorkers who have a bold vision to make the city a better brighter place may want to apply for The David Prize, a million-dollar initiative that rewards positive change in the community.

“We’re looking for individuals that don’t yet have all the glory, don’t yet have all the funding, really trying to find individuals that are doing amazing work,” said Erika Boll, Executive Director for The David Prize.

Sponsored by the Walentas Family Foundation, five $200,000 prizes will be given to those with ideas that promote goodwill at all levels of society, culturally, economically, environmentally and artistically. 

“We’ve been meeting 25-year-olds that are thinking about homelessness in new ways. We’re meeting retired teachers from the public school system who are re-imagining mentorship. After-school programming for high school students to try to prepare them for college,” Boll said.

Applicants must live in one of the five boroughs and each idea must promote the competition’s “Only in New York” motto, and candidates can come from all disciplines including social services, health, entertainment, science and immigration, among others. 

According to Boll, given how fractured many aspects of society feel at the moment, the foundation is quite pleased with the timing of the grants.

“We think individuals can help move the city in a really positive way,” Boll said. “We see them doing it already, and so this is really trying to take that bet on at least five people to start off, who are doing amazing work and we think have the potential to do a lot more.”

Candidates can apply online at until December 1.