Creating a brighter tomorrow with grants for educators

Everyone knows at least one teacher – they’re your neighbors, friends and some of the most important people in our society. Our educators actively shape and mold today’s brilliant minds to be tomorrow’s leaders. Although teachers are undoubtedly special, these professionals are underpaid and undervalued by most measures.

Did you know the average teacher spent $500 of their own money on school supplies last year, while one in 10 teachers spent $1,000 or more?1 In the end, the total of $1.6 billion in school supply costs has trickled down from parents to school districts – directly to teachers.

Because of the tremendous effort given on a daily basis by educators, Voya is lending a helping hand by awarding grants to K-12 educators through the Unsung Heroes® Program.

Recognizing our Heroes

Each year, we award $2,000 to 100 finalist teachers to further projects within the school or school system. Finalist teachers are chosen by Scholarship America – a national non-profit educational support and student aid service organization.

Of those 100 finalist teachers, three Top Winners are chosen to receive additional grants in the following amounts:

  1. First place will receive a bonus of $25,000
  2. Second place will receive a bonus of $10,000
  3. Third place will receive a bonus of $5,000

Watch Deb Fordice’s first place testimony video:

How are the winning teachers chosen?

Each year, full-time K-12 educators from around the U.S. submit applications for the Voya Unsung Heroes grant. To apply, educators must describe the types of innovative projects they would like to pursue or have already initiated. All projects are evaluated based on: 

  • Creativity
  • Innovative method
  • Ability to positively influence the students

Click on the image below to learn the types of programs that have previously made the grade.


Unsung Heroes