Hunter’s Fund accepting applications through November 15 for student innovation grants

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Syracuse University student innovators are invited to apply before November 15 to the Hunter’s Fund grant program which helps young people use their talents and passions to find ways to improve the world.  Hunter’s Fund invests in young people, ages 16-25, who have demonstrated talent, experience, and passion. The grant program rewards innovation and reflects the talents and passions that Hunter Brooks Watson, a Syracuse University iSchool student, brought to his life. The grants honor his legacy and provide support for young people who also approach life with powerful ideas.

Preference is given to applications in the areas of music, performing arts, computer science and entrepreneurship. (See this newsletter archive for past winners or watch grant winner interviews on the Hunter’s Fund YouTube Channel.)

All awards range from $500 to $5,000 based on submitted budgets. All grantees are partnered with an appropriate mentor to encourage their progress and growth as they move towards their goals. Previous Syracuse University student winners included Taylor Lotte ’19, Nick Barba ’20 and Justin Gluska ’23.

Applications are reviewed and accepted twice a year.  The next deadline is November 15 with grantees announced in January 2022.

Visit the LaunchPad at Bird Library to learn more about Hunter Brooks Watson, Hunter’s Fund and this grant program.

Apply here.

About Hunter’s Fund:

Hunter’s Fund seeks out young people who dream of something they are deeply curious and passionate about, then provides them with financial resources to explore that passion. It also works to reduce deaths and injuries from distracted driving accidents by sponsoring programs that encourage young people to drive distraction-free. Hunter’s Fund supports young men and women of diverse interests and talents, so they can let their passions shine. Its inspiration and our mission come from Hunter himself.

Hunter Brooks Watson was a rising junior in the iSchool at Syracuse when his promising life was abruptly and tragically ended on June 18, 2016 as he was fatally injured as a passenger in an automobile collision.

In the months following Hunter’s death, his family and friends and the communities in which he was nurtured, including The Potomac School, Syracuse University and Mustique Island, among others, — all searched for a way to continue his presence and ideals.

The Hunter Brooks Watson Memorial Fund (Hunter’s Fund) was founded as a result and is the realization of his family’s and his communities’ desire to celebrate his life and interests.

The Fund aims to keep Hunter’s insatiable energy and optimism alive by giving grants to help young people’s involvement in the fields of performing arts, music, computer science and entrepreneurship, those areas that inspired Hunter, and the fund is unique in that it provides financial assistance for projects of their own choosing. And just as important the Fund works to raise awareness about distracted driving and ensure the safety of young drivers behind the wheel!

Memories of Hunter’s spirit, interests and love will always remain with his family and friends, but it is gratifying how many people his life touched and to see the good things that are being accomplished in his memory.

And while his life was too short, and the hurt that those who loved him feel will never fully heal, there is a peace that comes from knowing that Hunter succeeded in getting the most out of every day he lived.

Hunter’s closest friends formed a Founders Committee, now known as Hunter’s Team. The group moves Hunter’s Fund forward through fundraising efforts, grant application evaluations, awarding of grants, mentoring the winners and organizing safe driving programs on school campuses.

They were the people who were behind the start of the Hunter’s Fund, and they were the ones who insisted on its grants being focused on the variety of interests and passions that Hunter had displayed in his all too short life.