The Guttmacher Institute is pleased to announce that Marlene O. Riquelme is the first recipient of The Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship. A Boston University graduate and former Peace Corps volunteer, Ms. Riquelme will use the scholarship to pursue a Masters in Public Health focused on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Ms. Riquelme was chosen from an exceptionally strong field of almost 140 applicants.
“We are thrilled to award the first Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship to Marlene Riquelme,” said Susan Cohen, Acting Vice President for Public Policy and a member of the selection committee. “Cory cared deeply about helping young people to fulfill their potential as leaders in the field, and we believe that Ms. Riquelme shows exactly the kind of commitment and promise that inspired Cory as a mentor. Even in a pool of such strong candidates, her passion for promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and her accomplishments working on behalf of disadvantaged populations stood out.”
Ms. Riquelme currently works as a disaster case manager for the recovery of Hurricane Sandy survivors at a non-profit organization in New Jersey. Working in disaster relief has sparked her interest in addressing the need for reproductive health care for refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. During her earlier service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, she led a young women’s empowerment group and taught Costa Rican girls about sexual health, which highlighted for her “the crucial roles education and access to reproductive health have in decreasing poverty rates worldwide.” Together, these experiences inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
“The Cory L. Richards Scholarship will support my goal of pursuing graduate study at the Mailman School of Public Health,” Ms. Riquelme said. “This will provide me with the strong academic foundation to pursue a career advocating for women’s reproductive and maternal health.”
The Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Guttmacher Institute, supports emerging leaders in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Named in honor of Cory L. Richards, a leading figure in the field whose remarkable career at the Guttmacher Institute spanned nearly four decades, the scholarship reflects what was for him a core commitment: nurturing the development of new leaders. It does so by providing financial support to students who plan to devote their careers to advancing public policy related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and who are seeking advanced degrees in public health or public policy.
One individual is designated each year as a Cory Richards Scholar and awarded a one-time scholarship of $15,000 to support full-time graduate study at an accredited institution in the United States. In keeping with the Institute’s and Cory’s commitment to equalizing opportunity, priority is given to students with a demonstrated financial need.