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Gene Henson Scholarship
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Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide ongoing training and continuing education for our members, and to support education in our community. The AALA Gene Henson Scholarship, a 501(c)(3) organization, sponsors a $10,000 Scholarship to be awarded to an outstanding senior enrolled in one of our local high schools who is interested in attending one of Georgia's accredited higher learning institutions. Seniors attending public or not for profit high schools are eligible to participate. Members of the Gene Henson Committee review scholarship submissions from students, interview candidates and select the scholarship recipient.

How it Began 

The Gene Henson Scholarship Foundation was formed in 2004 in response to the chapter’s desire to provide secondary educational opportunities to well deserving students in metro Atlanta.The foundation is named after the AALA’s founding member, Gene Henson. The first scholarship was awarded to Andrei Ionescu in 2005.

Congratulations to the 2018 Gene Henson Scholarship Recipient, Danielle Obiri!


My family came to America from Ghana to give me and my sisters a better education. Academics have always been important to me as I want to make something out of the hard work of my mother. In high school, I was a part of many extracurricular activities such as the Clayton County Youth Orchestra, Healthcare Occupational Students of America, and Queens Mentoring Program.

Senior year, I began taking college classes while also being active in school and I became the second African American Valedictorian at my high school. Knowing that I had to work hard if I wanted to go to college because my mother had to provide for three girls by herself, I searched for many scholarships and came across the Gene Henson Scholarship This scholarship has really helped me a lot as it has enabled me to come to the University of Georgia. Now studying at this University, it has been a challenge but I am enjoying it as it makes me a better student and is preparing me for medical school. I have met some amazing people here and I have also began to become involved on campus as I currently serve as the Academic Chair of the Franklin Residential College, a living-learning community for students with majors in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. I am majoring in Genetics with a minor in Spanish and my career goal is to become and obstetrician/gynecologist and travel to third world countries where these services are limited to women. I have met many amazing people my first semester here and enjoyed the football games (Go Dawgs). This scholarship has allowed me to have new experiences and begin my journey to my career and I am completely grateful for it.

2019 Gene Henson Scholarship Information




Please use the following link to complete your application and upload the following required documentation.

We highly recommend preparing everything in advance, then complete the application in one session.

Gene Henson 2019 Scholarship Application



This year's essay topics are:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter  can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure . How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.


2019 Gene Henson Scholarship Timeline

 Scholarship Application Period Opens:   January 15
 Application Deadline:   March 31
 Committee Review & Final Candidate Selection:   April 30
 Finalist Interviews:   May 1 - May 9
 Scholarship Winner Announced:   May 10



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