Dr. Donald M. Suggs of The St. Louis American (far left) and Tamitha Walker McKinnis of Deaconess Foundation (far right) with 2017-18 Deaconess Nursing Scholars

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is pleased to announce expansion of the Deaconess Nursing Scholarship. The program will strengthen in 2018-2019 to provide a total of $125,000 annually in scholarship grants to 15 students. Additionally, a five-year commitment by Deaconess Foundation will also allow The Scholarship Foundation to offer paid advocacy internships for Deaconess Nursing Scholars.

The scholarship began in 2012 as a collaborative effort of Deaconess Foundation, The Scholarship Foundation, and St. Louis American Foundation. The partnership promotes the nursing field as a pathway to economic mobility and advances racial equity, comprehensive health care, and family economic mobility. Since the start of the program, 45 nursing scholars have received just over $1 million in scholarship grants and interest-free loans.

Rev. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of Deaconess Foundation, crafted the initial partnership in 2012. The St. Louis American Foundation was charged with raising visibility for the partnership and its scholarship opportunities and with disbursing the scholarships. The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis directed outreach, application, student advising, and selection processes. Rev. Wilson explains, “As a funder, we sought partners with complementary strengths and common goals. Now, our work is evolving to policy and advocacy. Deaconess Nursing Scholars will not just get an education; they will become agents of change.”

In each of the next five years, Deaconess Nursing Scholars will be eligible to receive grants up to $10,000 annually and interest-free loans as needed.  They will also be offered a paid internship led by Karissa Anderson, MSW, Advocacy Manager with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. Anderson was herself an education policy intern when The Scholarship Foundation launched its initial policy internship program in 2013.  She has developed a comprehensive cohort curriculum that advances content mastery, critical analysis, social action, and self-reflection for young leaders. In the coming year, the program will engage interns in educational and financial aid policy work, involving students in nursing, finance, and social sciences. Anderson says, “It’s a gift to help young people step into their own power, to engage with the democratic process, however flawed it may be.”

To apply for the 2018-2019 Deaconess Nursing Scholarship, go to: Deaconess Foundation Nursing Scholarship.

The deadline for submission is April 16, 2018. For more information, contact The Scholarship Foundation of

St. Louis at 314-725-7990.

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization founded in 1920, is based upon the conviction that an educated society is essential to a democracy. The Scholarship Foundation provides access to postsecondary education to members of our community who otherwise would not have the financial means to fulfill their educational goals. Annually, nearly 500 students are awarded approximately $4 million in direct financial support in the form of interest-free loans and grants from The Scholarship Foundation.

Deaconess Foundation invests in the well-being of children, engages our region around the plight of youth, and advocates for change. The Foundation envisions a community that values the health and well-being of all children and gives priority attention to the most vulnerable. Deaconess believes this community can only exist if the allocation of power and distribution of resources, benefits, opportunities and burdens are not predictable, nor determinable by race. To accomplish this vision, Deaconess pursues child well-being through public policy and racial equity.

A ministry of the United Church of Christ, Deaconess has invested more than $80 million to improve the health of the St. Louis community since 1998 and believes healthy, hope-filled futures for children benefit the entire region. The Foundation’s grantmaking footprint includes St. Louis City, St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin Counties in Missouri and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois.