- Resources & Research
The Paula Jorde Bloom Scholarship Fund, first awarded in 2019, is intended to support emerging and aspiring early childhood leaders who are dedicated to providing the highest quality care and education for children and families. The scholarship was established by Paula’s family after her passing in 2018 and highlights her legendary devotion to improving early childhood professional standards.
Paula understood the important and complex role of program leaders, and she realized that children and families depend on program leaders and passionately advocated for a spotlight on them. Paula dedicated her life to bringing national attention to the critical role program leaders play in ensuring high-quality early childhood education for children. She worked to bring credibility to their roles and to support the ongoing professional development of their core competencies.
While Paula was able to found and build the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership (MCECL) into a thriving, nationally recognized early childhood leadership organization from an initial grant of just $600, she recognized that best-in-class professional learning requires financial support. This scholarship is one means of such support. For more information, please visit The McCormick Center’s Founding Story and History .
One scholarship for the McCormick Center’s 2024 Leadership Connections National Conference will be awarded. Leadership Connections is the premier national conference for decision-makers and leaders in early childhood education. The conference brings together dedicated professionals interested in early childhood leadership. The recipient of the scholarship will receive a complimentary full-conference registration to Leadership Connections 2024, meals provided to conference registrants; and up to three nights lodging at the conference hotel.
To apply for the scholarship, interested individuals must submit this online scholarship application, including contact information and responses to the following open-ended questions:
Applicants may include a letter of support from someone familiar with their work in early childhood education with their application. Letters may be submitted to LeadershipConnections@nl.edu or uploaded into the application by October 30. FAQs and Tips for success
Submit your online application and written responses by 11:59 PM (CDT) Monday,
October 30, 2023. Applications that are completed and submitted before the deadline will receive a confirmation email. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Speakers, presenters, vendors, National Louis University employees, and McCormick Center Advisory Council members are not eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Kimberlee Hendricks, Interim Executive Director of the McCormick Center, will telephone the winning recipients. All applicants will be notified via email by December 22, 2023, regarding the status of their applications.
Scholarship recipients who have already registered for Leadership Connections will be reimbursed.
Click Here to read FAQs and Tips for Success.
Please contact Katherine Agle at LeadershipConnections@nl.edu or (312) 261-3815, if you have any questions or need further information.