Healthcare Scholarship: NAJA Graduate Scholarship
Overview of the NAJA Graduate Scholarship
Formed in 1941, the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, or NAJA, with a goal of providing charitable services to the community in an effort to benefit the general public with a special emphasis placed on work with children. Since then, the organization continued to grow, working to provide assistance meeting the needs of youth in the community. In 1962, NAJA began a scholarship program in order to promote higher education for professional individuals working to further the organization’s mission. These grants are awarded to students pursuing an advanced degree in a study area related to special education or another field focused on providing services to youth in need.
In order to be considered for a grant through NAJA, an applicant must already be working in a field related to children or enrolled in a degree program focused on working in some facet of youth services or education. The degree program must be graduate level and students may be studying full or part time. Some examples of acceptable programs are counseling, speech pathology, mental health fields and related areas of study. Any program related to NAJA’s mission will be considered. Applicants must also be an American citizen and a permanent resident of one of the seven Southeastern states where NAJA chapters are located.
For qualified candidates desiring to apply, forms are available between September 1st and February 1st each calendar year. Applications change from year to year and students are encouraged to ensure that they have the current form. After the closing date is completed, applications are considered and grants are awarded in April each year. In addition to a properly completed application, students are required to submit three recommendation forms and letters. Two recommendations must be from the candidate’s previous or current employers or professors while the third may be written by a long time acquaintance with knowledge of the individual’s character and background. All of these materials must be properly submitted as described on the scholarship’s website by February 1st in order to be considered.
Once awarded, grants vary depending on the student’s needs and decisions made by NAJA. Since beginning the scholarship program, NAJA has awarded more than $1.1 million through over 500 grants. The application process takes into consideration the costs related to each specific student’s degree path and institution. Students may also reapply for the scholarship, if they have multiple years of education remaining. Due to the widely ranging costs of specific programs and degrees, the level of grant awarded often differs. If you have questions about the NAJA Scholarship Program, contact your local chapter or the national organization for more information about this fantastic yearly educational opportunity.