Asking sensitive questions in a trauma-informed approach

LizNyeLizNye Posts: 1
10-Year Anniversary Conversation Starter

Greetings from Central MA!

I'm a scholarship program manager reviewing my foundation's scholarship application and related processes with eye with an equity, inclusion, and sensitivity. A few of our scholarship funds have, for many years, included eligibility criteria related to the death or disability of a parent, or the impact of cancer on a student or a member of their family. In the past, we've asked students to share a little of their story related to these traumatic circumstances in their application, but this doesn't feel as sensitive or appropriate as I would like it to, so I thought I'd introduce the topic here for feedback.

Does anyone else have funds with eligibility that requires questions that might be triggering for students? If yes, do you ask students to share more on their application past answering a Yes/No question? I'd appreciate all thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations for how to make appropriate changes.

Thanks in advance!

Liz Nye


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    LynsieStephensLynsieStephens Posts: 41 ✭✭✭
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    Hi @LizNye! I'm a Solutions Engineer here at Foundant but prior to joining the team I was a scholarship manager at a community foundation for many years. I struggled with this exact thing, mostly as I was transitioning out of that role and passing the baton to new staff. I look forward to what others have to say around this topic.

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    AaronSpevacekAaronSpevacek Posts: 25 ✭✭✭
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    I'm curious if anyone has used spotters or nominators for scholarships like this.

    I've seen that model used for direct-assistance grants. Social workers are told about the availability of funds and make a request on behalf of their clients. Would something like that work in the scholarship world?

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