The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) works with public health leaders and other community health workers to assist with measures to improve the health of women, children, youth, and families. They also work to assist with the special health care needs of people with disabilities and low-income families. Members of the AMCHP come from various backgrounds. While many are of leaders in their field, such as directors of MCH programs, some are public health professionals, emerging graduates of MPH programs in Maternal and Child Health, and family members as well. The mission of the AMCHP is “to protect and promote the optimal health of women, children, and families.” There are three scholarships available through member partnerships and federal grant donations. The scholarships were created to promote leadership development among the organization’s members.
1. Family Scholars Program
This unique year-long scholarship gives a recipient the opportunity to identify, encourage, and train family leaders with knowledge and resources to increase their abilities within their homes and throughout their communities. The time commitment of this program is approximately six to twelve hours per month. As a recipient of the Family Scholars Program award, the applicant will be considered a committed family mentor and contribute his or her time throughout the program. Objectives of the program include participating in all regional meetings and assisting with promoting policies, programs, and systems at the national, state, and local levels, that address the health and well-being of both women and children. Strengthening families is also an objective of the Family Scholars Program. If selected, the applicant will earn a full scholarship to attend the AMCHP annual conference during that year.
2. Emerging MCH Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship offers exceptional graduate students in the MCH field who have shown creativity and innovation at addressing challenges in their field. The purpose is to assist recently graduated students in Maternal and Child Health in furthering their education while sponsoring their attendance to the AMCHP annual conference. The MCH Graduate Student Scholarship provides the recipient a chance to meet experienced leaders of the MCH field while sharpening their leadership skills. Applicants must be under 45 years old and have completed either a Master’s or Doctorate in MCH to be eligible. The scholarship will provide $3,500 to the selected student to be used toward higher education costs and to attend the AMCHP annual conference. The 2018 AMCHP annual conference in February 2018 was the seventh year this program awarded an outstanding graduate student.
3. Ryan Colburn Scholarship
The final scholarship AMCHP offers is the Ryan Colburn scholarship. This award, established in 2011, is in the memory of Ryan Colburn. Ryan was a youth leader who was an active member of MCH and SHCN professional development in his home state of Alabama. The award is specifically for youth leaders who have special health care needs. The program helps youth with disabilities live life to the fullest while making a substantial impact on their communities. To be considered eligible for the Ryan Colburn Scholarship, the youth leader must be between 18-25 years old, be a recipient of special health care needs and services, and be a first-time attendee of the AMCHP annual conference for that year.
All three scholarships while different in many regards, work to support maternal and child health issues in their communities and abroad. Funding outstanding students to carry on the work of other innovators in their field is only one was the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs works to make this happen.