Anyone who has studied in a university in Europe or North America knows that there are many different scholarships and awards which are offered to students. These awards are very diverse and are not only for those with the highest average. Many of the them are also given not by the university but by different foundations and institutions. Sometimes it is named after a person whom the sponsors would like to appreciate.
Disappointingly, there are very few scholarships or awards in Iran and those few that exist are not diverse. They are moslty for those who get good grades. In contrast, in Europe and North America you may get awards for good research, extracurricular activities, teaching and many other things.
In Iran, we have the tradition of donating money to poor people. Why not thinking more modern and initiating the idea of donating money for awards and scholarships? For example, those of us who have graduated from the same high school or university can get together and establish awards for the current students of our school. Five of us can each pitch in $20 (the money for a dinner) and establish an annual $100 award to the best research paper, or even the best photograph taken by a high school student. We can call the award something related to the year of our graduation, or maybe to honor one of our teachers of the time who may have been retired by now. Such small contributions to the schools where we have spent our adolescence could give us a great sense of pleasure and satisfaction, not to mention how much they can motivate students in their work and study.