The Harvard Institute of Politics announced the launch of its Student Leader Scholarship, a pilot initiative that will provide a $2,000 need-based scholarship to several of the Institute’s undergraduate student leaders during the student leadership tenure. 2022 of the IOP.
Only five to seven of the 32 members of the IOP Student Advisory Committee are eligible to apply for the scholarship. The fund aims to “support an ongoing commitment to engagement and learning at the Policy Institute”.
IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ’78 wrote in a statement that IOP had worked alongside the Harvard College Financial Aid Office, the Phillips Brooks House Association and the Harvard Kennedy School to create initiative.
“We understand that IOP leadership roles can be a significant time commitment and that students from all backgrounds should be able to lead IOP and consider careers in politics and public service,” wrote Gearan.
Janna E. Ramadan ’23, president of IOP, said in an interview Sunday that she hoped the scholarship would reduce the financial burden on students who spend a lot of time working at IOP.
“We recognize that students who are at SAC or IOP leadership devote a lot of their time to this institute,” she said.
IOP Vice President Tabitha L. Escalante ’23 said she understands the importance of needing financial support, as she previously held four jobs in addition to her involvement in IOP. .
“It’s obviously something that you can’t always put your whole heart and soul into when there are other things going on in your life,” she said. “It’s a daily choice to be able to do that, and it’s getting difficult.”
Ramadan said it was essential that the Student Leader scholarship not impact the financial aid programs of its recipients.
Melody M. Wang ’22, who is chief of staff for the Fellows and Study Groups program, called the scholarship “a step in the right direction” but said she thinks it needs to be extended to other members. of the IOP.
She noted that there are non-OAC leadership positions that students spend a lot of time in and where financial support would also be helpful.
“I think recognizing that is important,” Wang said. “If the IOP could help with affordability for people like me, or in my role, I definitely think it would be beneficial.”
IOP spokeswoman Lauren L. Miller said in an emailed statement that the Institute hopes the fund will help remove financial barriers for students and that IOP intends to “reassess it in the future”.
Escalante said they hope to launch a general fund later in the spring semester that will be “specifically for general members.”
“We really want to remove any financial barriers that may arise for students before they even actually enter to ensure that they know that IOP is a welcoming place for people from all walks of life,” he said. she declared.
Ramadan said the scholarship’s origins can be traced back to Jerry “DJ” Lacy ’22, who served as IOP’s 2020 treasurer. Lacy said he thinks the scholarship is going to be “huge” for college students. ‘to come up.
“It really makes me feel better to leave IOP, and I hope I left it in a better place than when I found it,” he said.