Nominate New Hampshire’s Remarkable Young People for the 2021 Rising Stars Awards

Stay Work Play is now accepting nominations for its 12th annual Rising Stars Awards. Each year, the nominations reveal the emerging young people and organizations making a positive impact in their communities, and helping to shape the future of New Hampshire. 

An initiative of Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio and presented by Eversource, the Rising Stars Awards celebrate and recognize New Hampshire’s remarkable young people and the businesses that go the extra mile to attract and retain them.

Unique to this year, the “COVID-19 Crusader” award will honor the Granite State’s unsung heroes that have made a difference during the pandemic. “We are incredibly inspired by the dedication and bravery of the state’s essential and frontline workers during these challenging times,” said Stay Work Play Executive Director Will Stewart. “This award will recognize the efforts of these individuals and how crucial they are to our state’s well-being and economy.“

Two long-standing award categories have been updated to be more inclusive of the individuals and organizations that make up the Granite State. The Coolest Companies for Young Professionals is now the Coolest Employer for Young People – encouraging small to large nonprofits and for profits to be nominated. The Young Professional of the Year category is now the Young Person of the Year – removing industry barriers with which the word “professional” may be associated. 

The Rising Stars Awards categories include:    

  • Civic Leader of the Year, which honors a person who, through their volunteerism, philanthropy or community involvement, demonstrates a commitment to civic participation, strengthening the community, and developing personal leadership capacity to make New Hampshire a better place for future generations;
  • College Student of the Year, which honors a New Hampshire college student enrolled in a two- or four-year college, and between the ages of 18 and 40, who is an academic rising star and gives back to their community;
  • Coolest Employer for Young People, which honors a company in New Hampshire that creates an environment, programs and workspace to attract and retain young people;
  • High School Student of the Year, which honors a remarkable high school student that lives and goes to school in New Hampshire, between the ages of 13 and 18, who is making an impact in their community, actively engaged in their extracurriculars, and excels in the classroom;
  • Intern of the Year, which honors a young person in New Hampshire who has made an outstanding impact on a company during their time as an intern;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year, which honors a young entrepreneur who dedicates their time to starting and/or operating a new business, is making a positive contribution to the state’s economy and adds community vibrancy; and
  • Young Person of the Year, which honors an outstanding person between the ages of 18 and 40 who works and lives in New Hampshire, who is a rising star in their industry, and giving back to their community.

Judging panels for each category, established by Stay Work Play, will select winners for the eight award categories. For the Coolest Employer for Young People, a panel of judges composed of young employees from across the state will determine three award finalists. One of the three finalists will be selected as the award recipient through online public voting before the event and a live audience poll the evening of the event. 

To nominate an individual or company, please visit for additional details and nomination materials. Nominations for the awards will be accepted until Friday, July 16, 2021. Winners will be celebrated at the Rising Stars Awards celebratory event to be broadcast Thursday, October 21, 2021, from the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

The 2021 Rising Stars Awards are generously sponsored by: Eversource, Currier Museum of Art and Productions, Inc.

About Stay Work Play: Stay Work Play is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is “to attract and retain more young people in New Hampshire.” Learn more at 

About New Hampshire Public RadioSince 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of 152,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage and enlightening programming. Thousands more view, follow our social media sites, stream our service online, or listen  to our podcasts. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally produced programs and podcasts include The Exchange, The Folk Show, Outside/In, Bear Brook, and Civics 101, among others. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life.


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