The deadline to apply for NIRSA Foundation scholarships and stipends is fast approaching! Applications are due Tuesday, October 17.

The NIRSA Foundation is committed to the professional development of members at all stages of their careers. Each year, scholarships and stipends allow students and professionals to take advantage of NIRSA’s many educational opportunities. In fact, a survey of 2017 scholarship and stipend recipients revealed that 72% of responders said they would not have been able to attend NIRSA 2017 if it weren’t for their scholarship or travel stipend. That was the case for Reginald Ungos, 2017 Region VI Travel Stipend recipient.

“Had it not been for the NIRSA Foundation Travel Assistance stipend, I would not have been able to attend my first Annual Conference in National Harbor, Maryland,” he says. “It was an amazing experience where I learned about the collegiate recreation field and the amazing individuals that make up the NIRSA family.”

Why should you apply?

Making connections is a huge part of attending NIRSA events; the vast network of NIRSA members and the close bonds they form is one of the great assets that makes this Association so unique. Of the 2017 scholarship and stipend recipients who responded to our survey and who went to NIRSA 2017 last year, 86% said they grew their NIRSA family at NIRSA 2017, and 67% said they connected with a mentor or mentee.

And the connections don’t end at conference. Demitri Lahanas and Thomas Koller, both 2017 Region I Scholarship recipients, met through the scholarship program. Now they’re roommates at Virginia Commonwealth University, where Demitri is a Facility Graduate Assistant and Thomas is an Aquatics Graduate Assistant.

“We wouldn’t have met without the Scholarship Breakfast at the Annual Conference in DC,” Demitri says. “It’s unbelievable how small this world is, yet NIRSA never fails to make a large impact and bring friends together.”

Thomas adds that the NIRSA Foundation provided structure and guidance for him.

“By the end of the conference, the Foundation gave me professional skills and fostered relationships that will last a lifetime,” he says. “They facilitated conversations and created spaces for me to explore, learn, and grow while meeting people who were also looking to make connections. I ended up securing my top choices in positions and connected with a good friend and roommate. The NIRSA Foundation, quite simply, set me up for success!”

You never know who you might meet at breakfast

In addition to attending a Scholarship Breakfast, NIRSA Foundation scholarship and stipend recipients who attend the Annual Conference participate in volunteer opportunities that allow them to network with a variety of NIRSA members.

“All the individuals I met gave me great tips and advice on improving my program and personal/professional development,” says Veronica Singson Tantoco, 2017 Jennifer R. de-Vries Scholarship recipient. “Sharing stories about our experiences is a reminder of why I got involved in campus recreation and why I want to keep doing what I do. Meeting new individuals at NIRSA is a refreshing change from the usual day-to-day operations and is great motivation to achieve more for my professional career, my students, and my university.”

To learn how NIRSA Foundation scholarships have impacted the lives of other scholarship recipients both personally and professionally, check out the NIRSA Foundation: Where are they now? series.

Apply for a scholarship or stipend today!

Don’t miss your chance to expand your professional network, grow your knowledge of the field, and participate in the many amazing opportunities NIRSA has to offer! Applications for NIRSA Foundation scholarships and stipends are due on Tuesday, October 17. You could have your travel expenses covered for NIRSA 2018 or your registration covered for one of NIRSA’s professional development events. Apply today!

NIRSA Sales & Expo Coordinator at | NIRSA Profile

Kelley Hungerford is currently the NIRSA Foundation Coordinator at NIRSA.