Emerging Leaders in Lactation Scholarship

The Emerging Leaders in Lactation (ELL) Scholarship was established by IBLCE in the spirit of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion among the community of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) candidates and future leaders. IBCLC candidates that demonstrate leadership potential, belong to a group historically underrepresented in the profession and its leadership, and who may otherwise be unable to pursue their IBCLC credential are offered the opportunity for financial assistance through the ELL Scholarship fund. 

Qualified applicants are eligible for full or partial financial assistance with the costs associated with IBCLC certification, including lactation and breastfeeding mentorship and access to educational resources, as well as leadership training, including professional conference attendance. Candidates who are selected to receive an ELL Scholarship will be encouraged to serve as leaders and mentors for others in their communities striving to become IBCLCs.

ELL Scholarships are made possible by donations and grants. The number of applicants supported each year, in both developed and developing countries throughout the world, depends on the available funds from these contributions. ELL Scholarship recipients may receive up to $5,000 (USD) each in financial aid, as determined by the MILCC Board, for costs associated with IBCLC certification.

The Emerging Leaders in Lactation Scholarship: Opening the Door to the IBCLC

For Semaj Bruce, one of the first class of ELL Scholars, her journey to becoming an IBCLC began long before that. Semaj breastfed her two children. She struggled the first time around and found the support she needed through a peer counselor with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program (USA). She eventually became a peer counselor herself, knowing the difference it had made in her own breastfeeding journey. Within a few years, she was working full-time in lactation.

In 2017, she saw an email advertising the ELL Scholarship. Then, a community partner forwarded her the same email, encouraging her to apply. Semaj viewed it as a sign.

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ELL Scholarship Criteria

ELL Scholarship applicants must:

•  Fall into the category of groups historically underrepresented in the IBCLC community and leadership.
•  Demonstrate leadership in your country or region.
•  Have completed at least one of the IBLCE exam eligibility requirements (health science courses, lactation education, OR practice              hours) at the time of application.
•  Submit a plan for completion of the remaining exam eligibility requirements.
•  Submit two professional recommendations; a recommendation from a current IBCLC in good standing is strongly preferred.
•  Demonstrate financial need through the submission of a complete application.

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