VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/10/12)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) announces the availability of a limited number of financial need-based scholarships for youth to attend Immerse, the 2012 national gathering of American Baptist youth. The application deadline is May 3, 2012. Adults are asked to encourage a young person to apply for the scholarship if that young person shows financial need and interest in attending the event.
Open to youth of all ecumenical walks of faith who are ages 14-19 or entering at least freshman year of high school, Immerse is slated for July 24-28 at American University, Washington, D.C. The event will feature dynamic speakers, community-service opportunities, small group gatherings, recreation time, visits to Capitol Hill and a prayer walk on the National Mall.
“In past years, for many youth and their families, the travel costs to attend the youth gathering—in addition to the $399 cost for the program, room and board—has been a barrier to their attendance,” says Rev. Yvonne Carter, managing director of event development for ABHMS’ Center for Missional Life and Leadership. “It is our goal to make this important opportunity broadly accessible to American Baptist youth, who are diverse racially, culturally and economically. The ability to provide need-based scholarships will not only enhance the number of youth who would otherwise be unable to attend Immerse, but it will also improve the cultural and geographical diversity of the youth—affording opportunities for youth from underserved rural and urban areas of the United States to be present.”
To be considered for a scholarship, a young person must be a member of an American Baptist church; complete an application; obtain a recommendation from a pastor, youth pastor, youth group leader, church school teacher or American Baptist Churches USA regional staff member; and submit his or her choice of a 300- to 500-word written essay or an audio or video clip of approximately 2 ½ minutes.
In the written, video or audio submission, an applicant must answer the following questions:
• How do you expect to benefit by a scholarship to attend Immerse?
• How have you been involved in the life of your local church, community or the ministries of your region?
• What do you expect to learn or achieve by attending Immerse?
The application can be completed online or downloaded and returned by postal mail. A written essay can be uploaded to ABHMS’ website in .doc format or returned with the application by postal mail. A video submission must be uploaded in Windows Media or mp4 format, and an audio submission must be uploaded in mp3 format. The reference form must be signed, sealed and returned by postal mail. All items must be uploaded or postmarked to ABHMS no later than May 3, 2012.
Items to be submitted by postal mail should be addressed to Sue Peterman/Immerse Scholarship Committee, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.
Additional details, as well as the application and reference form, are available by clicking on the scholarship story in the slide show on ABHMS’ home page at www.abhms.org. To request an application and reference form by mail, contact Peterman at Susan.Peterman@abhms.org or 1-800-222-3872, x2422.
ABHMS—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.