At St. David’s Foundation, our mission is to advance health equity through investment and action so that every individual has the opportunity to flourish. One important way we live into our mission is by investing in the next generation of outstanding health professionals to foster a robust and diverse pipeline to ensure our community receives the care and support it deserves.
The St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program is the largest health scholarship program in Texas and focuses on advancing the education of our Central Texas talented youth by providing them with a holistic support structure throughout their higher education journey. This year’s scholarship application window is now open, and I personally invite you to spread the word about this remarkable opportunity to your networks, friends, and family.
Each St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholar receives up to $7,500 per year for up to eight years of higher education as they pursue their health care-related studies. Each scholar is also paired with a professional mentor working in the field and receives wraparound services such as counseling, legal assistance, and a community of peers to help support their academic journey.
We launched this program in 2005 to honor the late Dr. Neal Kocurek (1936-2004), the founding CEO of St. David’s Foundation. Dr. Kocurek was a local leader, dedicated mentor, and passionate civic advocate who was deeply invested in addressing the root causes of health inequities in Central Texas. This scholarship program captures his belief in the transformative nature of education.
Since the scholarship began, more than 700 students have been selected as Neal Kocurek Scholars. Beyond the financial assistance, our scholars tell us that the mentorship, mental health resources, and tutoring available through our program have made the biggest difference in helping them realize their academic goals. These resources are particularly helpful for those students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.
The mentors in our program provide insights and guidance to our scholars as they navigate their education and begin to enter the workforce. A number of our mentors today were once Neal Kocurek Scholars themselves. Their support is crucial and provides access to real-world experience as our current scholars consider their professional journeys ahead.
High school seniors in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties who plan to attend college in the state of Texas and hope to pursue a career in health care are encouraged to apply. Neal Kocurek Scholars are selected on the basis of both academic merit and financial need.
A meaningful and challenging educational experience holds the promise of not only uplifting a student but also uplifting our community through that student’s positive contributions to society. We are excited to meet those students who wish to contribute to the health and well-being of others. The scholarship application will remain open until midnight on January 5, 2024. To learn more and apply, visit the scholarship website here.