Women Leaders Scholarships

Women Leaders in Sports is fortunate and thankful for supporters who help us continue to provide educational and professional development opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics. Contributions made to the Women Leaders in Sports Foundation Fund provide women with financial assistance to the Women's Leadership Symposium, Institutes for Administrative Advancement, Leadership Enhancement Institute, Executive Institutes, and National Convention. Women Leaders also offers membership scholarships inclusive of a one-year membership to Women Leaders. 

In 2022, a total of 77 Women Leaders in Sports scholarships were awarded. See all of our 2023 scholarship recipients  here

Membership Scholarship Opportunities

Women Leaders Membership Scholarship

Scholarship includes: a one-year Women Leaders in Sports membership (up to $200 value).

Membership scholarships will be awarded to applicants who are unemployed, furloughed, and/or demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Applicants must complete an application form that addresses how a Women Leaders membership will contribute to their professional growth. Scholarships will be reviewed and awarded on a monthly basis.

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Pioli Family Endowed HBCU Scholarships

Women Leaders in Sports and NFL Executive Scott Pioli announced the "Pioli Family Endowed HBCU Scholarship" in 2019, which marked the organization's first endowment and came at a historical milestone for the organization as Women Leaders celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Scott Pioli has been a dear friend and male champion of the Women Leaders organization for many years and has served as a lifelong mentor and supporter of women working in sports. He began personally investing in Women Leaders in 2018, personally funding a Convention attendance scholarship for an HBCU woman leader before endowing the fund in 2018. The Pioli Family Endowed HBCU Scholarship ensures long-term sustainability for membership scholarship that directly supports women in our organization from HBCUs. 

The recipients of this scholarship must demonstrate a commitment to intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete; support advancing and advocating for diversity within college athletics; and have a need for financial assistance. For consideration, applicants must complete an application form, which includes a brief essay (500 words or less) that addresses her professional goals and how Women Leaders membership can help her achieve them.

Scholarship includes: A one-year Women Leaders in Sports membership

Contribute to the Pioli Family Endowed HBCU Scholarship Fund and support our efforts to provide women working at HBCU's access to the Women Leaders membership. Donate now!

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Women Leaders HBCU Institutional Scholarship 

As part of the Women Leaders in Sports Women of Color Commitment, we are offering scholarships to two Historically Black Colleges/Institutions. This scholarship includes a one-year Institutional Women Leaders in Sports membership inclusive of a six (6) member roster. Please note: to be eligible on the institutions roster, the individual seeking membership must be employed at the historically black college or university (HBCU). 

The individual completing the application must complete the form and specify who will be the institution's point of contact. The application will ask how your institution plans to utilize the 1-year Women Leaders membership to support the growth and advancement of women within the organization.

Scholarship includes: a one-year Institutional Membership Women Leaders in Sports membership inclusive of six (6) members for each institutional (a $1050 value)

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Institute Scholarship Opportunities

Women's Leadership Symposium (WLS)

Scholarships for the NCAA/Women Leaders in Sports Women's Leadership Symposium are awarded to current Women Leaders in Sports members who demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Applicants must complete an application form, which includes submission of a brief essay (250 words or less).

Scholarship includes: event registration, curriculum materials, career advancement resources and more! ($75 value).

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Jan R. Gentry Endowed Memorial Scholarship 

Established by her wife, siblings, family and friends, the Jan R. Gentry Memorial Scholarship is an endowment that will honor Jan’s legacy for generations of women leaders to come.

Six (6) scholarships will be awarded to current Women Leaders in Sports members in need of financial assistance to attend the Women Leaders in Sports Women’s Leadership Symposium (WLS). The WLS is hosted by Women Leaders in Sports and the NCAA.

The successful applicants must embody one or more of Jan's qualities: 

  • Dedication to enhancing the student-athlete experience
  • Exudes positivity and professionalism
  • Commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity
  • Exceptional communicator
  • Enthusiastic in work and daily life
  • Helpful, supportive and team-oriented
  • Ability to find the best in everyone and lift others up 

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JAN'S BIO   DONATE NOW

Donate by check to:
Women Leaders in Sports, Jan Gentry Scholarship Fund
Mail to: Women Leaders in Sports
1919 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108

Institute for Advancement (IA)

Scholarships for the NCAA/Women Leaders in Sports Institute for Advancement are awarded to current Women Leaders in Sports members who demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Applicants must complete an application form, which includes submission of a brief essay (250 words or less).

Scholarship includes: event registration, meals, lodging, and curriculum materials ($700+ value)

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Brenda Weare Scholarship for Leadership Enhancement Institute (LEI)

*Available every other year*

The Brenda Weare Scholarship will be awarded to a current Women Leaders in Sports member in need of  financial assistance and who demonstrates one or more of the qualities of Brenda Weare: courage, fearlessness, a strong work ethic, conviction, integrity, perseverance, sincerity, vision, and outstanding leadership.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must attend the full duration of:

  • Leadership Enhancement Institute: June 25 - 27th, 2024 in Kansas City, MO
  • Women Leaders in Sports National Convention: October 13 - 15th, 2024 in Baltimore, MD

Scholarship includes: event registration, meals, lodging, curriculum materials to LEI; and a registration fee waiver to the National Convention

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Convention Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are CLOSEd

General Registration Scholarships

Women Leaders in Sports National Convention scholarships will be awarded to current Women Leaders members who demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Applicants must complete an application form, which includes submission of two brief essays (250 words or less) to be considered. Twelve (12) women will be selected each year.

National Convention Registration ($500 value). Scholarship is not inclusive of travel and lodging.

Women of Color Registration Scholarships

In collaboration with the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) , Women Leaders in Sports will offer multiple convention scholarships. As part of the Women of Color Commitment, Women Leaders is committed to elevating and supporting women of color to ensure their advancement and retention in sports. We are intentional about engaging women of color in our organization as speakers, faculty, podcast guests, institute participants, scholarship recipients and much more. Women Leaders in Sports is pleased to offer scholarships to minority women in need of financial assistance.

Applicants must complete a brief essay (250 words or less) that describe your professional aspirations to advance and how attending this institute will help you achieve those goals and a brief essay (250 words or less) that explains how this scholarship will provide you the necessary support to contribute to your professional growth.

Scholarship includes: National Convention Registration ($500 value). Scholarship is not inclusive of travel and lodging.

The Chris Voelz "Cha-Ching" Fundraising Scholarship

This scholarship, honoring the legacy and work of Chris Voelz will be presented to a Women Leaders in Sports member currently working in intercollegiate athletics development, in any division, with the intention of advancing her career further within the fundraising and development arena. A Women Leaders in Sports Past President, former board member, persuasive auctioneer, and an extremely successful fundraiser during her tenure at the University of Minnesota, Voelz currently serves the industry as the Executive Director of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards – the most prestigious national collegiate sports awards program for women – and consults as a leadership gifts officer at the Women’s Sports Foundation. Candidates should demonstrate the qualities of Chris Voelz - dedication to intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete, fearlessness, tenacity, integrity, and a "no doesn't always mean no" attitude in the realm of fundraising.

Applicants must complete two brief essays (2500 words or less) on how they demonstrate the qualities of Chris Voelz listed above to be considered. One (1) woman will be selected each year with preference given to Women Leaders in Sports members currently active in the Women Leaders in Sports Development Circle.

Scholarship includes: National Convention Registration ($500 value). Scholarship is not inclusive of travel and lodging.

The Judy Sweet Scholarship

This scholarship, honoring the legacy and work of Judy Sweet will be presented to a Women Leaders in Sports member currently working in intercollegiate athletics, in any division, with a staunch commitment to gender equity and Title IX. A Women Leaders in Sports Past President, previous board member, former NCAA president, and long-time director of athletics at the University of California, San Diego, Sweet has worked tirelessly to defend Title IX and promote diversity issues. Candidates should demonstrate the qualities of Judy Sweet - dedication to intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete, a passion for gender equity, and a persevering attitude.

Applicants must complete two brief essays (250 words or less) on how they demonstrate the qualities listed above to be considered. One (1) woman will be selected each year with preference given to Women Leaders in Sports members currently active in the Women Leaders in Sports Title IX Circle.

Scholarship includes: National Convention Registration ($500 value). Scholarship is not inclusive of travel and lodging.

Jan R. Gentry Endowed Memorial Scholarship 

Established by her wife, siblings, family and friends, the Jan R. Gentry Memorial Scholarship is an endowment that will honor Jan’s legacy for generations of women leaders to come.

Two (2) scholarships will be awarded to current Women Leaders in Sports members in need of financial assistance to attend the Women Leaders in Sports National Convention.

The successful applicants must embody one or more of Jan's qualities: 

  • Dedication to enhancing the student-athlete experience
  • Exudes positivity and professionalism
  • Commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity
  • Exceptional communicator
  • Enthusiastic in work and daily life
  • Helpful, supportive and team-oriented
  • Ability to find the best in everyone and lift others up

Scholarship includes: National Convention Registration ($500 value). Scholarship is not inclusive of travel and lodging.

JAN'S BIO   DONATE NOW

Donate by check to:
Women Leaders in Sports, Jan Gentry Scholarship Fund
Mail to: Women Leaders in Sports
1919 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108

Scholarships Not Offered in 2024 Below 

The UCF DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program

Women Leaders in Sports will select up to two applicants to apply for admission into the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). One of the top programs in the nation, UCF provides an opportunity to earn a Master’s in Sports Business Management (MSBM) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in two years. Please see below for details and to complete the application.

*Please note this program is in-person, and the selected applicants would need to relocate to Florida. The candidates will also be responsible for the $31 application fee to UCF.  Read more about the graduate program here.

Scholarship for selected applicants includes:

  • Nomination for admission into the DeVos Sport Business Management program within UCF's College of Business.
  • A graduate assistantship (awarded by ABIS after a nomination process and then admission to UCF) in an assigned position such as The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport or The Institute of Sport and Social Justice.
  • A 20-hour/week graduate assistantship, which qualifies the student for and covers 75% of in-state tuition. The GA is responsible for the other 25% of tuition plus fees.
  • Students earn $15/hour for their graduate assistantship in addition to tuition support. This amounts to approximately $19,000 over the four semesters, which is generally enough for living expenses, 25% of tuition, and student fees.
  • Upon successfully completing the program, the student will earn an MBA and a Masters in Sports Business Management.  

*If you are not a Women Leaders member, create a free account to apply. For all questions or concerns, please reach out to [email protected].