The Guttmacher Institute is pleased to announce that Brenda Trejo is the recipient of the 2016 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship. A Seattle University graduate, Ms. Trejo will use the scholarship to complete her Master’s of Public Health in Environmental Health Science and Policy at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Ms. Trejo was chosen from an exceptionally strong field of more than 150 candidates.

Ms. Trejo’s interest lies at the intersection of environmental and reproductive health, where she seeks to advocate for the health of marginalized communities around the world. Ms. Trejo has a long history of commitment to social, reproductive and environmental justice, having borne witness to the impact of environmental health hazards on her own community, and through her work as a sexuality educator and champion for equitable access to reproductive health services. She hopes to apply environmental health research to promote policies that mitigate or prevent the adverse impact of environmental hazards on reproductive health, particularly for those communities most affected by health disparities.

“We are excited to award the third Cory L. Richards Scholarship to Brenda Trejo,” said Susan Cohen, 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. Trejo shows exactly the kind of commitment and promise that inspired Cory as a mentor. Her stellar academic track record, dedication to advocacy connecting reproductive and environmental justice, and inspirational personal story made her stand out in an extremely strong pool of candidates.”

Ms. Trejo has just completed her first year of course work at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, and the scholarship will support her work to complete her degree during the 2016–2017 academic year. “I am determined to use my education to advocate for marginalized communities,” Ms. Trejo said, “because these are the communities that I come from. Policy change that addresses environmental and reproductive health in an integrated fashion can create healthy communities. I hope to be a part of creating that change.”

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 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship reflects what was for him a core commitment: nurturing the professional growth and 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 L. 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.