Each year in celebration of Anne Frank's birthday, the AFC hosts the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards (SAFA) to recognize worthy students, educators, citizens, peacemakers, and role models who uphold Anne's ideals of hope, justice, and equality. Award recipients are selected based on their extraordinary social and humanitarian efforts to engender understanding, equality, and mutual respect among diverse populations of people.

Our highly-competitive SAFA Scholarships are given out each year to graduating high school seniors who have proven themselves exceptional leaders in combating intolerance, prejudice, and injustice in their schools and communities. We offer these awards to those who have been inspired by Anne Frank's story, who promote respect for all humanity, and whose humanitarian efforts continue her legacy today. Past scholarship recipients have served their communities in a variety of inspiring ways: founded non-profit organizations, authored books, filmed documentaries, created mobile apps, helped to pass legislation, etc.

Prize amounts and the number of awards available vary by year, but typically include multiple scholarships ranging from $1000 to $5000 as a stipend towards an accredited college education. Award winners are recognized at an annual awards ceremony held in New York City and given the opportunity to remain engaged as a Youth Ambassador with the Anne Frank Center USA.


In order to apply for this scholarship, you:

  • Must be enrolled as a senior in a high school in the United States. 
  • Must be graduating high school by July 2020.
  • Must be planning to attend an accredited, 4-year undergraduate college/university in the fall of 2020.
  • Must be willing and able to attend the Anne Frank Center awards ceremony in New York City. Transportation and accommodation will be provided for each winner and one chaperone.
  • Must consent to our sharing your name, photo, essay, and award details as necessary for media and marketing announcing your award.
  • Must be willing and able to represent the Anne Frank Center as a Youth Ambassador, should the opportunity arise to be a spokesperson, share your story, attend follow-up events, and maintain contact in subsequent years.

Submission Requirements

  1. Applicants must submit a 1000-word personal essay, as detailed below.
  2. Applicants must submit 2 letters of recommendation from people familiar with your humanitarian work.
  3. Applicants and parents must complete the Terms & Conditions Form and upload the signed page as a PDF or JPG.

Optional Additional Materials 

Ideally, the work described in your essay should speak for itself, demonstrating to our review committee how you have made a genuine impact, inspired by Anne Frank's life and legacy. Additionally, you may submit items that support your application essay by further demonstrating your leadership and service. These can be photos or videos that document your work, featured news stories, websites, etc. DO NOT send transcripts, lists of volunteer hours, or recycled essays that have been written for other scholarship or college entrance applications.  


Formatting Requirements

  • A 1000-word personal essay is the main component of your application and should focus on how Anne Frank’s legacy has inspired you to take action in your community, school, and/or among peers.
  • Highlight how you work to combat intolerance, spread positive messaging, and actively improve the lives of others.
  • Discuss how Anne Frank’s story has inspired and sustained your efforts. We strongly recommend that applicants read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and describe relevant themes from the diary that relate to your experience.
  • Your essay must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1-inch margins, and saved as a PDF.
  • Do not submit recycled college essays. An essay that is not directed toward this specific scholarship will not be considered.

Primary Evaluation Criteria

  1. Relevance to Anne Frank's influence and/or story
  2. Work serves a genuine need and humanitarian impact
  3. Demonstrates original, creative problem-solving skills
  4. Compelling, well-written essay
  5. Extraordinary achievement

Essay Prompt  

In what specific ways have Anne Frank’s words and legacy inspired you? How have you taken action in your community to try to solve a genuine need or problem? In what ways have your efforts made a positive impact in the lives of others? What surprised you most and/or what have you learned from this experience? How do you plan to continue to honor the humanitarian legacy Anne Frank has inspired?


Please direct any questions to safa@annefrank.com

The Anne Frank Center USA