Emerging Leader Scholarship


About the Scholarship

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The Emerging Leader Scholarship Fund was established by the AUCD Board of Directors in 2013 with the goal of providing financial assistance to emerging Network leaders: self-advocates, family members, trainees, and young professionals; to attend the AUCD Conference. The Fund was created in conjunction with the retirement of Executive Director George S. Jesien, PhD, to honor his commitment to increasing leadership in the disability field.

The AUCD conference is a unique forum where emerging leaders will be able to learn from, share with, and network with hundreds of scholarly and community leaders in the fields of developmental disabilities, community organizing, public health, leadership, and much more. Current network leaders have found the AUCD Conference to be a momentous opportunity in their career as they get introduced to the leaders in the field and energize their career and leadership. This one event provides a national and international forum for exploring the latest developments in the field and connecting with peers and mentors.


About the Emerging Leader Scholarship Awards

Eligible Awardees

Emerging Leaders in the AUCD Network with an emphasis onindividuals with disabilities, family members of individuals with disabilities, and early career professionals with 5 years or less experience in the network. Award recipients must be current members of the AUCD network.


A travel scholarship and waived registration for the AUCD Conference. The travel portion of the Award will be sent in the form of an individual check to be used for travel expenses (hotel, transportation, registration, etc) related to the AUCD Conference; the registration fees will be waived. The number and level of scholarships awarded per year is dependent on available funds.

Begin Date

Emerging Leader Scholarships are granted in conjunction with the AUCD Conference; applications typically open in the summer. Watch the AUCD Conference website for scholarship information.  

Application Process

Interested applicants should use AUCD's online application system to the submit required documents: (1) a letter of interest stating (a) why you would like to attend the conference, (b) what makes you an emerging leader, and (c) what you hope to gain from the Conference experience, and (2) a letter of recommendation from your Center Director.

Review Process

AUCD staff will review applications and select the awardee(s).