Seven college-aged women receive Presbyterian Mission Agency education grants

Ministries partner to help young women discover their voices as leaders in the church

September 1, 2015

Breana Farrell.

Breana Farrell.

LOUISVILLE

Seven college women—including a pair of sisters—have each been selected to receive a $1,000 supplemental award through the office of Financial Aid for Service.

The supplemental grants were awarded on the basis of the students’ responses to two questions proposed by the award’s co-sponsor, Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries.

The seven award recipients are:

National Presbyterian College Scholarship (NPCS):

The NPCS program serves students attending Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related colleges with a $1,500 scholarship for up to four years.

Student Opportunity Scholarship:

  • Emily Eunsuh Chun, Wellesley College
  • Breana D. Farrell, Cairn (Pa.) University
  • Erin Monique Farrell, Ursinus (Pa.) College
  • Agnes Essie Watchen Jallah, Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.)
  • Grace Peggy Jean Leuenberger, Grove City College
  • Ellen Rose Murphy, Central College

The Student Opportunity Scholarship (SOS) serves PC(USA) college students by providing need-based aid for sophomores, juniors and seniors who are full-time, first degree students attending accredited institutions in the U.S. Students are awarded up to $2,000 for no more than three years.

Erin Farrell.

Erin Farrell.

Sisters Breana Farrell, a Bible and business administration major, and Erin Farrell, a psychology major with a minor in education and Spanish, are daughters of the Rev. Paul Farrell, pastor of the Wynnefield Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

“This scholarship came at a truly pivotal time in my life and has given me the additional funding to continue my education to its completion,” wrote Breana Farrell in a thank you note to the scholarship committee. “I understand that God often speaks and facilitates through others, and in this instance, scholarship donors. This monetary provision has given me the boost of confidence to pursue a career in the field I feel confident I will be successful in. It is my long time passion to serve the city of Philadelphia and my community.”

The partnership between the NPCS and SOS programs and Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries began in 2013 to benefit and support young women in the PC(USA).

“We are always looking for ways to connect students to other ministries,” said Laura Bryan, associate for Financial Aid for Service. “Supplemental awards provide aid without the administrative expense of assembling a new applicant pool and give ministries an opportunity to engage with college students. We are grateful to Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries for their commitment to reducing financial barriers to education for women.”

In order to qualify for the supplemental award, women who received the National Presbyterian College Scholarship or the Student Opportunity Scholarship were invited to respond to two questions specifically designed by Women’s Leadership Development and Young Women’s Ministries.

This year’s recipients wrote brief essays on the following topics: “How has your faith empowered you? How has this shaped your studies and/or vocational choices?” and “How have you worked for the empowerment of women during your lifetime, and in what ways do you plan to do so in the future?”

“I was very impressed with the responses to the essays this year,” said Jewel McRae, associate for Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries. “The scholarship committee had a difficult decision to make, since all of the submissions were excellent.”

McRae said that she was inspired not only by the quality but also by the quantity of young women’s responses, which she hopes will only increase in future years.

“In Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries, we want to partner with and listen to young women in order to help them to discover their voices as leaders in the church,” she said. “We also want to encourage them to be advocates on behalf of other young women as they engage in Christ’s mission.”

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Students must apply for one of the scholarships available through Financial Aid for Service, which offers a supplemental award every four to six weeks. Awards take the form of book awards in amounts less than $250, and supplemental scholarships for amounts between $500-$1,500. To sponsor a supplemental award for college or seminary students, contact Laura Bryan by phone at 800-728-7228, ext. 5735, or email.

The next open application periods for scholarships are November 1, 2015 [2015-2016 Samuel Robinson Award, open to Presbyterian-related college juniors and seniors; and 2016-2017 National Presbyterian College Scholarship, open to rising first year students] and April 1, 2016 [2016-2017 Student Opportunity Scholarship, open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending an accredited college in the U.S.]. Visit the Financial Aid for Service website for updates and information.