Scholarship Guidelines

Honor the Past and Reimagine the Future Early Childhood Scholarship, available through AzAEYC, was renamed to acknowledge and honor the outstanding service of early childhood professionals, past, present and future. Building upon the strong foundation created by former leaders in our field, our goal is to recognize the leadership qualities and commitment to equitable early education of our future educators.


  • The Honor the Past and Reimagine the Future Scholarship will award one $1,250 scholarship each to two students attending an accredited Arizona university/college and majoring in early childhood education (or a closely related field) with an interest in equitable quality early childhood experiences, early childhood public policy, and advocacy efforts on behalf of young children and families. 
  • This scholarship can be used to continue college education (for undergraduate and graduate courses), and/or attain ECE career goals (e.g., purchasing resources for professional growth and/or living expenses). 
  • A student may apply themselves or may be nominated by their college faculty, advisor or a supervisor, or any professional in the field. An individual may receive a scholarship from AzAEYC only once.
  • Award winners will be asked to participate in at least one (1) virtual interview with AzAEYC, collaborate on putting together a blog post, or supporting an AzAEYC project, based on award winner capacity and availability.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Currently attend an accredited Arizona college or university.
  • Be a resident of Arizona.
  • Be a current member-in-good-standing of AzAEYC/NAEYC. If awarded and NOT a current member of AzAEYC/NAEYC, a one-year entry level membership will be provided for you.
  • Be in good academic standing, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Plan to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours at an accredited Arizona college/university during the 2023/24 academic year. (Applicants may also pursue a First Things First College Scholarship or FAFSA.)
  • AzAEYC Board members are not eligible to apply.

Selection Procedure

The scholarship application is due TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023. Completed applications must be submitted online or through Late submissions will not be accepted. Recipients will be selected by a committee of AzAEYC members. The applicant’s financial need (how will the money be used) and merit (contribution to the field and performance as a student) will be considered when awarding the scholarships. Applicants should plan to attend the AzAEYC Annual Meeting, Saturday, October 14, 2023 which will be held in-person in Phoenix. A virtual attendance option may be available. More specific details will be provided to all applicants. 

Required Application Materials

To be considered, applicants must include the completed items listed below.  

Submit the completed application online by TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023: 

One completed application form which includes:

  • One letter of recommendation 

 Must be written by a faculty member, advisor at your college of enrollment, a supervisor (e.g., director, curriculum specialist), or any professional in the field. It must include a signature, title, and contact number (letters written on college or program letterhead preferred). 

 Must specifically address the applicant’s personal strengths, leadership qualities, academic achievements, and potential as an early childhood education professional. 

  • One brief essay (one-sided, double-spaced, and a maximum of two pages in 12 point font): 

  Describe how your education will prepare you to provide high quality equitable early childhood experiences or participate in early childhood public policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of young children and families. How do you see yourself involved in this work, either currently or in the future? 

 Identify any barriers you might have faced or overcome in pursuing your educational goals.

 Explain how you will use this scholarship to continue your education and/or attain ECE career goals. 

 Consider the AzAEYC Vision, Mission and Values and the NAEYC Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement as you compose your essay: 

  • One set of unofficial transcripts 

 Most current unofficial college transcript(s) indicating cumulative GPA for college coursework. 

Submitting Your Application:  

Step 1. Prepare your application documents (essay, current unofficial transcript and recommendation letter) prior to starting your application

Step 2. Complete scholarship application form in its entirety

Step 3 Upload one letter of recommendation where indicated

Step 4. Upload your essay where indicated

Step 5. Upload your unofficial transcript where indicated  

Step 6. Submit your completed application. You can also email your printable application to along with the required documents. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Complete the application process online (see link at top of this page or download the printable application).

Please note the deadline for submitting a completed application is TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023.

Notifications will be sent by September 22, 2023. 

For technical assistance or if there are any special accommodations needed to complete your application, please contact prior to beginning the application process. 

For Information on Other Statewide Scholarship Opportunities:

Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry or 

Previous Awardees

  • Erin Butler, Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood Special Education candidate focused on creating inclusive, culturally responsive environments for children with disabilities
  • Xue Xia, Doctorate of Education in Curriculum candidate whose research focuses on children’s play, educational equity, and teacher professional development
  • Cathryn Davidson, first year student at Northern Arizona University majoring in early childhood special education
  • Candi Running Bear, Doctoral student at Northern Arizona University in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse early childhood special education
  • Jennifer Sullivan, Bachelor in Early Childhood Education at Northern Arizona University
  • Tori Mueller, Bachelor in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Northern Arizona University
  • Martha Esmeralda Carrillo, Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education at Paradise Valley Community College
  • Natalee Huguez, Early Childhood Special Education Scholar at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University interested in counseling families of children with disabilities or special needs
  • Catharine Danenhower
  • Eric Bucher, Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education at Northern Arizona University and current Chief Executive Officer of Arizona AEYC

History of the Arizona AEYC Early Childhood Scholarships

In 2021, Arizona AEYC revised the name of the Scholarship to the “Honor the Past and Reimagine the Future” Early Childhood Scholarship to acknowledge and honor the outstanding service of the many collaborative early childhood professionals in Arizona who contribute to the education, well-being, and health of young learners, their families, and the early learning workforce—past, present, and future. The Scholarship grew from one $1,000 award to two $1,250 awards thanks to the generous donations of community stakeholders, Arizona AEYC/NAEYC members, and philanthropic givers.
Arizona AEYC created the Rhian Evans Allvin & Joshua J. Allen Early Childhood Scholarship to acknowledge the outstanding service of early childhood professionals by recognizing their leadership qualities and commitment to early education and public policies that support the well-being of young children. Initially, the Scholarship totaled $500 for 1 female and $500 for 1 male early childhood student. The Scholarship was named after Rhian Evans Allvin, former Chief Executive Officer of Arizona’s First Things First and the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Joshua J. Allen, Chief Financial & Operations Officer of Arizona’s First Things First, both of whom were instrumental in ensuring the success of a voter approved initiative to invest state tobacco revenue into early care and education programs, creating Arizona’s Early Childhood Development and Health Board (First Things First). The award was combined in 2017 into one total amount of $1,000 thanks to the generous donations of community members and to reflect the board’s commitment to equitably distributing resources that directly benefit early childhood educators.
affiliate of NAEYC