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Applications are Open for Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Inaugural College Scholarship Program to Elevate Higher Education Opportunities for Students with Neuromuscular Disease

MDA's Community Engagement programming includes additional resources and support for young adults.

New York – February 26, 2024 -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced the launch of its inaugural MDA College Scholarship program, with applications open today at MDA.org/Scholarship to be submitted by March 31, 2024. MDA will grant 10 merit-based college scholarships at up to $5,000 each, for students living with a neuromuscular disease who plan to pursue or are already pursuing higher education at an accredited college or university. Recipients will be notified in June and all recipients will be announced in mid-August. The program highlights the organization’s commitment to supporting young adults living with neuromuscular disease, by funding opportunities for higher education to empower young adults to acquire the crucial skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the workforce. MDA invites all eligible students to apply for this unique opportunity to enhance their education and leadership journey.

A woman in an electric wheelchair posing in front of the Texas AM Mays Business School entrance.
Applications are open for Muscular Dystrophy Association’s inaugural College Scholarship program to elevate higher education opportunities for students living with neuromuscular disease.

This new initiative is designed to cultivate a network of support and leadership development for students to pursue educational and career ambitions. Students who demonstrate a strong commitment to their community involvement, personal growth and leadership potential are eligible to apply. There is no age limit on applications. Beyond financial support, the program introduces students to an online community of peers, encouraging the exchange of experiences, advice, and the sharing of resources.

"Thanks to nearly 75 years of Muscular Dystrophy Association’s work to accelerate treatments, advance care, and advocate for access for our community, the breakthroughs in treatment for people living with neuromuscular disease has led to people living longer and more empowered lives. It's essential and timely for MDA to build additional opportunities for support and connection for this population, and it is a true privilege to support students’ academic and career aspirations," stated Alicia Dobosz, Vice President of Community Engagement, MDA. “This scholarship program is just one way we're helping to prepare young adults for a successful future. There are so many decisions and considerations that young adults face, and we want to serve as a resource and convener for them at this pivotal time in life. We are excited to launch this program as a platform for students to achieve their academic goals while building a sense of community and honing their leadership skills.”

MDA provides an expansive array of educational, advocacy, and community building programs aimed at supporting young adults living with neuromuscular disease. These programs include mentorship, resource guides to help navigate from pediatric to adult medical care, and other high-quality, responsive, and relevant educational programs and materials. These efforts all focus on providing individuals with resources to overcome barriers to access, navigate life's transitions, and make informed decisions about their care. Learn more here.

Dr. Chris Rosa, PhD, President & CEO of The Viscardi Center, and Vice Chair of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Board of Directors, said, “Empowering the lives of students living with neuromuscular disease through education, financial support, and leadership development is at the heart of Muscular Dystrophy Association’s college scholarship program. Showing our support for young adults allows us to invest in our community for a more inclusive future for everyone, where disability is viewed as an essential component of diversity. This program celebrates the vast potential and unique strengths of Muscular Dystrophy Association’s community members, affirming that their achievements are recognized and part of our larger efforts to support young adults."

MDA is grateful for the support of this program from our partners at Certinia.

"At Certinia, we are honored to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association's inaugural MDA College Scholarship program. This program is a vital step in ensuring that students living with neuromuscular disease have the opportunity to pursue their educational goals and reach their full potential. Access to higher education is often an important step to opening up new career pathways, and we commend the MDA's efforts to help young adults achieve their educational and professional aspirations," said DJ Paoni, Chief Executive Officer, Certinia.

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA's mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more visit mda.org and follow MDA on Instagram, Facebook, X, Threads, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.