Academy Foundation Blog

Briana Nelson, MPH - 2022 Janette Smith Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Briana Nelson, MPH

Briana Nelson, MPH

2022 Janette Smith Memorial Scholarship

Completing a Dietetic Internship at University of Michigan School of Public Health Dietetic Internship

“I can't begin to describe how helpful receiving this scholarship from the Foundation is and will be during my internship. Many know the difficulties that come with unpaid internships, and it can be very stressful when you don't have a lot of financial support outside of working jobs in addition to the internship. This alone can be exhausting and taxing during a time that is supposed to be spent learning and preparing to become an RD. Receiving this scholarship will allow me to shift all my efforts to focusing on my dietetic internship endeavors without worries due to financial burden and strain. This will allow me to be the best student that I can be and put myself in the position to be the best professional possible.

How did you learn about the availability of the Foundation scholarship that you received?

During my time as a student, I heard a lot about the Foundation scholarships from the 2021 Dietetic Internship cohort at the University of Michigan School of Public Health along with faculty. There were many individuals who encouraged students and interns to apply for the Foundation scholarships and many students who were successful when applying to Foundation scholarships. This encouraged myself and others in my internship cohort to apply for Foundation scholarships.

What motivated you to apply for a Foundation Scholarship?

I was motivated to apply for Foundation scholarships because I have worked several jobs as a graduate student and during my dietetic internship. Paying for the dietetic internship and living expenses during the internship period has been a source of great stress for me since deciding to pursue a master’s degree. I have spent the past two years dedicating myself to professional opportunities that would prepare me for a future in dietetics. Almost all these opportunities were unpaid which left very little room for me to save money for the dietetic internship. This resulted in me picking up 2 work-study positions to fund my living expenses on top of 2 internships all while balancing 19 credit hours. Having to balance these unpaid opportunities, pick up extra work, and focus on my studies was extremely challenging and anxiety inducing. I committed to completing as many scholarships as possible to fund my dietetic internship. I felt the need to apply for as many financial resources as possible. I heard about the generosity of the Foundation and felt it was necessary for me to apply for scholarship funding that was available.

How will the scholarship funds help support your continued success within your educational program?

This scholarship will allow me to put my best foot forward during my dietetic internship and immerse myself in each learning opportunity that is presented to me. Not only will I do this for myself, but for those that have supported me. I believe that receiving support means that my dream and my vision is supported. I'm appreciative of the Foundation believing in me and supporting my long-term goals and that truly inspires me to do my best. This scholarship will contribute to my success in my dietetic internship endeavors and allow me to become the person and professional that I hope and believe I can be.

What advice do you have for your colleagues about seeking out and applying for Foundation funding opportunities?

I highly encourage dietetic students and interns to apply for Foundation funding opportunities. I have made students from my program aware of the Foundation funding opportunities as they can be extremely helpful for students who are experiencing financial burden and stress during graduate programs and dietetic internships. The generosity of the Foundation and all its donors have truly made a difference for me and many others who are on their journey to becoming an RD. The Foundation’s commitment to generosity is truly making a difference and affording many students the opportunity to have the best learning experience possible.

Scholarship and Award Application and Timeline Information

All applications and timelines for Foundation funding opportunities are made available electronically within the Foundation’s application portal. Generally, the scholarship applications are available from mid- February to mid-April, most award and grant applications are available from December to February, and fellowship opportunities are posted as they become available.

To ensure you receive all of our Foundation news and announcements, including scholarship, award and grant announcements, subscribe to our Foundation’s weekly Kids Eat Right Monday Message and Foundation News.

With Your Help, We Can Do Even More

Our Foundation is the only charitable organization dedicated exclusively to supporting nutrition and dietetics professionals by empowering them to help consumers live healthier lifestyles. Our Foundation does not receive any portion of member dues and is funded solely by donations. Please consider making a gift today to support our Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign that will help us to award one million dollars in scholarships annually to Academy members, students and dietetic interns at all levels of study.