Department reduces financial barriers for student engagement 

UGA Student Affairs’ Department of Engagement, Leadership, and Service (ELS) announces it has awarded scholarships totaling over $75,000 for the 2023-2024 academic year. With these scholarships, ELS hopes to reduce financial barriers that hinder student success and engagement. 

The Bradley-Turner Leadership Scholarship is awarded to students who exhibit exceptional leadership in high school, providing $11,000 per year to each recipient to cover tuition, fees, and leadership development activities.   

One recipient of the Bradley-Turner Scholarship, Laura Kate Holden, a third-year molecular biology major, is highly involved on campus and engaged with research at UGA. Holden credits the Bradley-Turner Scholarship for being a “catalyst [for her] to be a leader on campus,” allowing her to conduct and present research in areas in which she is interested. 

The Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Building Bridges Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to understanding differences among people in the spirit of enlightenment and acceptance. Recipients receive a one-time scholarship award of $1,000. 

The Bill and Camilla Bracewell Student Involvement Scholarship supports students who wish to pursue student involvement, leadership, study abroad, experiential learning and internship opportunities. The recipients of this scholarship receive a one-time award of $750 to offset associated costs of their involvement. 

The William M. Crane Memorial Scholarship is jointly provided by ELS and the Morehead Honors College. Recipients are rising third-year, undergraduate students in the Honors College. Crane Scholarship recipients must have maintained a 3.7 cumulative GPA and demonstrated superior leadership and involvement on campus.    

The Dr. Katie Boardman Scholarship in Leadership Development supports undergraduate students who actively participate in an ELS-advised student organization or program, including ELS Peer Leaders, Homecoming Committee, IMPACT Service Breaks, Leadership UGA Peer Facilitators, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pandora Yearbook, Serve UGA, Student Government Association, University Union Student Programming Board and WUOG 90.5FM.  

Zac Aaron, a Boardman Scholarship recipient, is a first-generation college student studying social work and is in his fourth year at UGA. Aaron advised students to avoid feeling imposter syndrome throughout the scholarship application process because the university wants students to succeed.  

“I’m thankful for this scholarship, because it enables me to pursue opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to,” Aaron said.  

Lori Crawford, associate director of Engagement, Leadership, and Service, urged students interested in ELS scholarship opportunities to contact the department. 

“We want to guide students who are overwhelmed or confused about qualifications,” Crawford said. “Our goal is to eliminate financial barriers and support students’ engagement on campus.” 

The department’s commitment to reducing financial barriers for student engagement was further advanced with the announcement of Student Engagement Grants last spring. Matched with funding from the Parents Leadership Council, ELS began awarding grants up to $150 to undergraduate and graduate students to offset costs for students seeking opportunities and experiences across campus and beyond that will impact and enhance their student experience. 

Taylor Cain, director of Engagement, Leadership, and Service, is hopeful this is only the beginning of generating additional support and funding for student engagement on campus and in the community. 

“I’m proud of the progress we have made and grateful to the Parents Leadership Council and donors for their generosity and vision. Given the demand of the Student Engagement Grants program during our soft launch this semester, it is clear to us this is a needed resource for our students in contributing to their overall success and we look forward to raising additional funds to support this important endeavor,” Cain said. 

Visit the ELS website here to apply or learn more. 

By Madison Imparato, Digital Marketing Assistant in Division of Student Affairs  

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