Two Penn State University students have been named as recipients of an inaugural scholarship intended to address ethnic and racial disparities within the foster care system.
The Reducing Disparities in Child Welfare Scholarship, underwritten by Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, supports undergrads minoring in child maltreatment and advocacy studies.
This year’s recipients are Lani Rosenbaum, a junior majoring in psychology; and Janiyah Davis, a sophomore double major in criminology and psychology. Each will receive their $3,000 scholarships beginning in the fall semester.
The scholarships will be awarded each year to a new pair of students from an underrepresented group.
Recipients must write a 10-page academic paper tied to their course and internship experience, or to their educational and career goals. That paper is to be presented to faculty and students studying in similar fields.
Rosenbaum, from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, said she was nervous and excited about the scholarship. Long involved with children’s issues, she plans to put her degree in psychology and her minor in child maltreatment and advocacy studies to work as a school psychologist.
“I’m confident I can use my knowledge of how children’s brains work in order to determine the proper treatment for them,” Rosenbaum said.
Davis, from Red Oak, Texas, applied for the scholarship because it aligned well with her academic and career goals, which focus on creating policies that will help kids in urban areas have better life outcomes.
“I want to incorporate more restorative practices within the child welfare system,” Davis said. “I don’t think there is enough that is happening to protect the mental well-being of children who are disproportionately involved in the system.”