SAN FRANCISCO--()--The National AIDS Memorial Grove announced the expansion of its Young Leaders Scholarship Program, making available $1,000 to $2,500 scholarships to young leaders.
“This scholarship program helps to honor yesterday's leaders as we continue to search for a cure and work to improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.”
The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize, support and encourage the educational efforts of young people committed to active roles of public service and leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, the program will expand the number of scholarships awarded in 2012 and accept applications from both college-bound high school seniors and college undergraduates. Applicants are asked to write an essay describing their leadership goals and experiences related to HIV/AIDS, and encouraged to participate in HIV/AIDS-related community service projects.
“This scholarship program is designed to deepen our younger generation's awareness of the AIDS epidemic and promote leadership in the ongoing fight against it,” said John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove. “Today’s young people have been raised in a world in which AIDS has always existed. Our intention is that these scholarships will help to shape a future leadership that understands the challenges faced by those who came before them.”
“UnitedHealthcare is honored to have a role in encouraging young leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Dan Rosenthal, CEO of west region, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. “This scholarship program helps to honor yesterday's leaders as we continue to search for a cure and work to improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.”
The scholarships are open to current high-school seniors and college undergraduates who have demonstrated an active commitment to fighting AIDS. Applications and personal statements are due by October 5, 2012 and essays must be received by October 22, 2012. Awardees will be recognized at a ceremony on December 1, 2012, which is World AIDS Day.
Applicants must provide proof of current academic status and HIV/AIDS-related community service.
A panel of community leaders will judge the applications. Essays must be 1,000 words and address the following three areas:
1) How the applicant’s life has been affected by HIV/AIDS and its influence on their educational pursuits and career path.
2) How discrimination and stigma fuel misconceptions and stereotypes that perpetuate high-risk behaviors; changes brought about by early AIDS activists and community leaders; challenges facing 21st Century activists, and potential solutions.
3) The role of the National AIDS Memorial Grove and how it might continue to play a vital and relevant role in promoting public awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Scholarship recipients will be eligible to apply for ongoing scholarship support connected to both their chosen field of study and related community work, thereby strengthening and furthering effective activities in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment. Through a reapplication and qualification process for second-year scholarship applicants, the National AIDS Memorial Grove and its funding partners will have the opportunity to follow these individuals in their ongoing roles as leaders in the fight against AIDS.
The Young Leaders Scholarship Program challenges youth to consider how their career paths may be influenced by a fuller appreciation of the realities of the AIDS crisis. As they engage in course and related community work, leadership skills will develop, enabling them to become more active and visible in the fight against AIDS.
About the National AIDS Memorial Grove: Twenty years ago, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its worst in San Francisco, volunteers gathered to form the Grove seeking out a place to create a setting where those impacted by AIDS could both grieve and begin the process of healing. Over the span of the past two decades, more than 18,000 individuals have contributed over 120,000 volunteer hours to convert a once---derelict part of Golden Gate Park into the country's only federally---designated AIDS memorial. The Grove received the honor of being designated the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 1996, in large measure because of the leadership of Congresswoman Pelosi who helped pass legislation that was signed into law by President Clinton, elevating the Grove to be of the same stature as the nation’s other 43 federally designated memorials. The Grove is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park at the corner of Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Drives. For more information visit www.aidsmemorial.org.