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About the Power of Children Awards

The Power of Children Awards (POCA) was created in 2005 by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to recognize youth in 6th to 11th grades who identified a community need and designed a project, program or nonprofit organization to address the need. The awards program was inspired by the Museum’s influential permanent exhibit, The Power of Children®: Making a Difference, which features three extraordinary youth who changed the world in unique ways: Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White, with Malala Yousafzai to be added in fall 2021. The Awards have recognized 84 amazing young people from 59 cities, 19 states and 72 schools, and were established by the Deborah Joy Simon Charitable Trust.

The period for nominating a young person for a Power of Children Award to recognize service initiatives performed during the 2020-2021 school year is closed. The nomination period opens in mid-February of each year.


  • Youth must be nominated for this award by an adult (who is 21 or older and not a relative).
  • Only individual youth, not groups, are eligible for nomination.
  • Only one nomination per youth will be accepted.
  • The youth must be enrolled in Grades 6-11 during the year in which they are nominated.
  • The youth must have created a project, program or nonprofit organization and participated in its work during the year in which they are nominated.
  • If under age of 18, the youth must have parent/guardian permission before beginning the application.

What Each POCA Awardee Receives:

  • $2,500 grant for their service initiative
  • Partial four-year College Scholarship to one of three Indiana universities
  • Recognition in The Power of Children: Making a Difference® exhibit
  • Recognition during the Awards event held at The Children's Museum during November of each year. 

Established by

2020 Sponsors

Supporting Sponsor
Symposium Sponsor
Awardee Video Sponsors
Scholarship Sponsors