MSSA Diversity Scholarship


MSSA's core values and beliefs include social responsibility, equity, and inclusion, and we support policies that work towards racial justice and the elimination of disparities. The purpose of the MSSA Diversity Scholarship is to work toward the elimination of these disparities. We believe that supporting efforts to increase diversity within the health and human service profession is one important step to the reduction of disparities within this system and our diversity scholarships are intended to work toward this effort.

Award Amount and Number of Scholarships

MSSA awards one (1) undergraduate diversity scholarship in the amount of $1,500 and one (1) graduate diversity scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

Application Timeline

November 1: Application period opens
January 15: Application period closes
February 15: Judging process completed
March 1: Scholarship winners announced

Diversity Scholarship Details

Eligibility Requirements - Diversity Scholarships

Only applications that meet all eligibility requirements will be reviewed.

  • To apply, applicants must be members of MSSA and must maintain active membership throughout the award period. Membership for students is free; more information can be found here.
  • Students must be enrolled in an accredited program at a nonprofit academic institution leading to a degree in a health and human service-related field. Common majors and Masters programs include, but are not limited to:
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Counseling
    • Healthcare Services Administration
    • Alcohol and Drug Studies
    • Family Consumer Science
    • Health Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Human Development and Family Services
    • Sociology
    • Public Administration
  • The scholarship award recipient will be asked to submit verification of full-time enrollment for the Fall 2022 semester. 
  • Preference is given to applicants planning to work in the Midwest—Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota or North Dakota. 
  • For the Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship, applicants must:
    • Be an incoming junior or senior in the 2022-2023 academic year and have at least two semesters left before graduating. 
    • Have declared a health and human service-related major. 
  • For the Graduate Diversity Scholarship, applicants must: 
    • Have at least two semesters left at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.
    • Have applied to, have been accepted into, or are currently enrolled in an accredited graduate degree program. Payment of the award will be contingent on the full admission of the candidate into the program.

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Thanks to our Diversity Scholarship Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield

As MSSA's Diversity Scholarship Sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is committed to ending racial health disparities and supporting the health and human service workforce.

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Diversity Scholarship recipients!

Zerina Said, St. Mary's University of Minnesota

Zerina Mulaosmanovic Said was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and soon after, her family immigrated to Farmington Hills, Michigan. Immersed in two prominent cultures at a young age, she spent much of her adolescence trying to balance her dual identity and understand the sources of society’s prejudices. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Shortly after, she enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Zerina is a passionate advocate for mental health and hopes to tackle the stigmas surrounding mental health in minority populations by bringing awareness and education to newcomers about the effects of trauma and PTSD. With the support of the MSSA scholarship, she expects to graduate in June 2022. She looks forward to using her MSW degree to empower others and give back even more to the communities she serves.

Jasmine Chikkala, Augsburg University 

Jasmine Chikkala (she/her) is a junior in the undergraduate Social Work program at Augsburg University with a psychology minor. She started a mental health student organization because she passionate about mental health awareness. At Natalis Counseling, Jasmine works as a Behavioral Health Specialist. Jasmine also volunteers with WithAll, 30forfreedom, and the Association of Macro Practice Social Workers.