FAQ #1 - What’s with the superhero theme?

The Sidekick Collective was inspired by an essay Founder Paige Edmiston wrote as a high school student, in response to an essay contest sponsored by Seattle author Eric Liu and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. In this essay, What True Patriotism Means to Me: A New Breed of Superhero for the 21st Century, Paige identified a problem:

“And we see them in every eight-year-old Superman, Spiderman, and Batman running around the neighborhood on Halloween. America loves a good superhero. The only problem with this superpower love affair is that the superhero is not real. When that eight-year-old is but a few years older, saving the world is reduced to a movie-preview tagline enjoyed with popcorn at the multiplex.

But I believe superheroes are real.”

At The Sidekick Collective, we believe we can solve this problem by finding and supporting superheroes who do exist in the real-world — and by inspiring others that our eight-year-old dreams of saving the day can come true if only we make the choice to do what superheroes do: help others first, make right what’s wrong and protect the vulnerable.

FAQ #2 - What do Cosmic Heroes receive?

Cosmic Heroes receive up to $2500 in seed funding for a project to make the world a better place — and a network of Sidekicks to help. Amounts are subject to fundraising and may change in the future.

FAQ #3 - What is the nomination and selection process?

The Sidekick Collective receives nominations from teachers, mentors, community leaders and others who know extraordinary young people. Cosmic Hero nominations are reviewed by The Sidekick Collective’s Hero Development Bureau on a rolling basis. The nomination period closes Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST.

Select nominees will be invited to submit a project proposal for consideration. 2019–2020 Cosmic Heroes will be announced in early 2020.

Have an exceptional young person in mind? You can nominate them here.

FAQ #4 - What are the selection criteria?

We search for students who think a little differently, have exceptionally big hearts, and do what superheroes do: help others first, make right what’s wrong and protect the vulnerable. We are particularly interested in hearing the innovative and entrepreneurial ways nominees have demonstrated these characteristics.

Nominated students are invited to submit a project proposal for funding consideration. In making funding decisions, we consider: the project’s potential to create positive change in creative ways, thoughtfulness of the plan and budget, and our network’s ability to help the particular project achieve success.

FAQ #5 - Do you get a return on Cosmic Hero projects?

We have no financial stake in Cosmic Hero projects. We hope to see the world made a little bit — or a lot — better.

FAQ #6 - Do you have paid staff?

Nope! At this time, The Sidekick Collective is entirely a labor of love by its ever-growing number of volunteers (aka ‘Sidekicks’).

FAQ #7 - Are you a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit?

Yes! Our Federal Tax ID number is 47-2669575.