Academy Foundation Blog

David Gaviria, MPH, RD, LDN - Loyal E. Horton Memorial Scholarship Recipient

David Gaviria, MPH, RD, LDN

David Gaviria, MPH, RD, LDN

Loyal E. Horton Memorial Scholarship

Completing a Doctoral Program at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Receiving this scholarship clears my mind. Money is tight as a graduate student, especially in times like these. I often wonder how I will pay for things while I'm completing assignments or in lectures. Having financial support from the Foundation will allow me to better focus on my studies so I can be the best version of myself in the classroom.

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

I learned about the availability of the Foundation scholarship on the Foundation's website after receiving an email from the ACEND® newsletter.

What motivated you to apply for a Foundation Scholarship?

I was motivated to apply due to financial need. Stipends in doctoral programs, especially at public institutions, are often minimal. The one I receive does not meet the cost of living in the area, so I often find myself applying for external awards and working multiple jobs to provide. My mentors/colleagues are supportive of my applications (as there are often minimal actions, they can take financially to support me due to funding restrictions) and will provide me with letters of recommendation or support. One of my mentors is a registered dietitian and program director who is very supportive of me applying for Foundation scholarships.

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

As mentioned, the scholarship will free a lot of financial strain-related brain space thus providing me with additional focus for my studies. I often find myself worried about my financial situation while in lectures or doing work, which causes me to be less productive academically. I am excited to return to class with a clearer headspace. Additionally, I will return with a new drive. It is empowering to receive scholarship funds and makes the recipient feel that their effort is worth the sacrifices they are putting in. To know that the Foundation believes in me, and my work absolutely empowers me to do my best. Lastly, it helps me complete my program. After the second year of my program, funding is no longer guaranteed, so this scholarship provides me additional support to continue the education I've invested much time and energy into.

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

To my colleagues considering applying for Foundation funding opportunities, my best advice is to be yourself. There are a lot of dietitians out there but only one of you. Show the Foundation what makes you unique and how providing you with funding will help you become a better version of yourself.

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.

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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.