Leadership Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship Program

Announcing the 2019-2021 SCA LEAD Scholars

The staff and volunteers of the SCA are delighted to introduce the recipients of the 2019-2021 Leadership Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship Program. First announced at Re:co Symposium in April 2018, LEAD is aimed at increasing diversity of leadership within the global coffee community by enabling access to professional development resources to people from underrepresented or marginalized communities. This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of S&D Coffee & Tea.


Meet the 2019-2021 LEAD Scholars

The 2019-2021 LEAD Scholars are Sunghee Tark, Karla María Boza Carbonell, Emi-Beth Quantson, MJ Engel, and Amara Sao. Read more about each of them on scanews.coffee.


Meet the 2018-2020 LEAD Scholars

The 2018-2020 LEAD Scholars are Karla Ly Quinones, Lisette Barbera, Smayah Uwajeneza, Stephanie Alcala, and Taya Brown. Read more about each of them on scanews.coffee.


About the LEAD Scholarship Program

LEAD Program Benefits

LEAD Scholars are provided support for their participation in events and educational activities including:

  • 2-year complimentary individual SCA membership

    • Year 1: Registration, travel, and lodging to annual SCA meetings during the scholarship term
    • Year 1: Travel and lodging to cohort meeting with program sponsor
    • Year 2: Registration, travel, and lodging to one global SCA conference as selected by the scholar (i.e. Re:co Symposium, Specialty Coffee Expo, World of Coffee)
    • Year 2: Registration, travel, and lodging to selected SCA education program as selected by the scholar (AST Live, Roaster Retreat/Camp, Sensory Summit, CTG Summit, or Barista Camp)
    • Inclusion of AST examination fee (provided the exam is taken within 3 years of scholar participation) and study guide materials
  • Career development and expansion of professional networks

    • Connection to an industry leader to serve as a mentor
    • Group coaching to enhance the connection of the scholar cohort
    • Service experience opportunity
    • Support from SCA senior staff and volunteer leadership

Participation Criteria

Applicants to the LEAD Scholarship Program must:

  • Be anyone who self-identifies as member of an underrepresented or marginalized community (racial/ethnic minority group, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc.)
  • Have a minimum of 3 years of experience in the coffee industry
  • Demonstrate professional, volunteer, or civic/community leadership experience
  • Be committed to fully engage in all SCA scholarship benefits

Application Process and Requirements

The following supporting documents must be included in your application:

  • Current leadership résumé/CV: Submit a leadership résumé that includes extracurricular activities and highlights your leadership experiences.
  • Three essays (see the application to find the prompts)
  • Two letters of recommendation

Subscribe to SCA’s monthly newsletter to receive an email announcement for the next round of LEAD Scholarships.

Demonstrate commitment to the future of the specialty coffee industry


Get in Touch

Questions about the LEAD Scholarship Program? We're here to help! Get in touch with our staff by submitting a message using the form below.