Lawanna Renee Barron Scholarship Endowment Fund

Thanks to the generosity of renowned social work education advocate and NASW member, Lawanna R. Barron, BCD, ACSW, LCSW, the NASW Foundation will partner with her on a unique endowment fund, supporting select social work students pursuing their BSW and MSW degrees in mostly rural areas.

About The Scholarship And Its Namesake

Lawanna Renee Barron

This endowment will help support the students by reducing their financial stresses; in turn, Barron hopes the boost will help them make long-term commitments to support and grow the social work profession. Initially, the endowment will help fund the education of one BSW or one MSW student with demonstrated interest, or experience working in, rural settings and/or health and mental health in African American communities.

Barron recently retired after 29 years with the Moody Air Force Base Family Advocacy Program in Georgia. She served as the Family Advocacy Treatment manager from 1993-2000, Family Advocacy Outreach manager from 2000-2019, and Family Advocacy Intervention Specialist from 2019-2022.

Recently, Barron was the recipient of the Tuskegee University College of Arts and Sciences Department of Social Work – Social Work Excellence Award for her contributions to military families, rural communities, and social work education through her volunteer work on various boards and mentorship of aspiring social work students. She was named Moody Air Force Base Civilian of the Year in 1994; and on numerous occasions, she was named Civilian of the Quarter. In 2003, she was named the NASW Georgia Chapter Social Worker of the Year.

Lawanna Renee Barron Endowed Scholarship Guidelines

Applicants must be a NASW member and have applied to or have been accepted into an accredited MSW Program (payment of the award will be contingent on the full admission of the candidate into the program). Students enrolled in an MSW program for more than one year may reapply to the Foundation for part or all of a second year.

One scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded in the 2024-2025 academic year.


Application Requirements 

  • NASW membership, in good standing, is a mandatory requirement to receive an NASW Foundation Scholarship Award. Awardees must maintain active membership throughout the award period. 
  • Applicants who are current members in good standing can apply for a scholarship using their current membership ID number.
  • To apply for NASW membership visit the NASW website (Online Join) or download and complete NASW‘s “Membership Application" found at "Online Join." New members will receive email confirmation of membership, which will include a member ID and password.  Applicants awaiting acceptance into a CSWE-accredited program must include, with the membership form, their application to the MSW program with a letter from the college/university verifying the application has been received
  • Non-members interested in applying can join NASW:  1) if they have a social work degree (BSW/MSW) or are matriculating in a CSWE-accredited social work program; or 2) are enrolled in or awaiting acceptance into a CSWE-accredited program. 
  • Applicants either must be or plan to be enrolled in a social work degree program to maintain eligibility.  Award is disbursed in two installments, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.  Applicants graduating before the 1st installment are not eligible.  
  • Application form.
  • Biographical essay (two typed, double-spaced pages). The essay must address career goals, interests, and work, volunteer, and school/field experience related to work in health/mental health practice with African Americans.  Applicants will be rated on each of these elements. 
  • Two letters of support from professional references (you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two professional references).  Letters can be written by a candidate's professors; individuals or leaders of groups with whom the candidate has worked in a helping capacity; an employer/supervisor; and so on.  Character references or references from clients or family members will not be accepted. If the applicant is applying for renewed funding from the NASW Foundation, one of the two references must be obtained from the applicant’s academic advisor. 
  • Official copy of a transcript from the most recent academic work (undergraduate or graduate). Transcript may be opened to make photocopies. Unofficial transcripts will NOT be accepted. 
  • Signed release of information.
Only completed applications will be considered. Questions should be directed to:

Lawanna Renee Barron Scholarship Endowment Recipients


  • Shykira Farmer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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