Apply for an AWI Scholarship: Tell What Inspired Your Desire to Help Animals

AWI launched its scholarship program in December 2019. To date, we have provided 50 scholarships totaling $114,000. Available to graduating high school seniors entering college, the scholarship is intended to help develop future generations of animal welfare champions.

photo by Léa Jones/Stocksy
photo by Léa Jones/Stocksy

Like many animal advocates, AWI Scholarship recipients often cite specific experiences that influenced and reinforced their commitment to animal welfare. For Katja Erringer, her future goals began to take shape in middle school when she volunteered for a local wildlife rescue caring for orphaned birds. “I got to experience how incredibly intelligent and social they are, but also how fragile,” she explains. 

Amanda Brown credits growing up with companion animals, as well as a particularly revelatory middle school lesson about bat conservation for inspiring her commitment to wildlife. She says, “I had originally been scared of bats, but learning about their ecological importance made me really fall in love with them. I realized that I wanted to study and conserve bats, and wildlife in general.”

As a quiet and reserved child, Tyler Woods was coaxed out of his shell by his family’s adopted pup, Marley. When Marley was diagnosed with an esophageal disorder, Tyler began researching the condition and looking for ways to help his beloved companion. His interest in veterinary medicine was piqued and he went on to do volunteer work for a local clinic. 

These are just a small sample of the life experiences that have motivated AWI Scholarship recipients to pursue fields of study in college that will prepare them for a career helping animals. Such personal stories are an important means for our scholarship review panel to get to know each applicant. 

Do you or a high school senior you know have a similar story?
An experience that motivated an animal-centric education and career path? If so, an AWI Scholarship could bring that dream closer to reality. So apply today! Questions? See below, and then visit the scholarship website for more info and access to the online application:

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
No, but we do need a recommendation letter from someone such as a guidance counselor or teacher who can vouch for the student’s academic strengths. Those selected to receive a scholarship will need to provide proof of acceptance to a school with their chosen major prior to funds being disbursed.

Is this a need-based scholarship?
No, but financial need is considered if it becomes necessary to further refine the number of finalists. Students have an opportunity to address financial barriers within the written portion of the application, as well as the option to upload Student Aid Index (SAI) documentation. 

Is there an essay required?
Yes. We want to hear about the applicant, their experiences, and their thoughts about animal welfare. Applicants can choose from three essay questions. We recommend selecting the topic that most closely relates to the applicant’s lived experience and/or future goals. 

When and where can students apply?
Apply online any time before March 16, 2024. The online form allows applicants to save their progress should they need more than one session to complete it.