Scholarships and Awards Opportunities

NHSA provides scholarships and awards opportunities to make it possible for early childhood professionals to advance in their careers and professional development.

The quality of our nation's early childhood programs and system depends upon the caring, knowledgeable people who work with children and families everyday.


Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award

This national staff award celebrates a Head Start alumna, alumnus, or parent now working for a Head Start or Early Head Start program.

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Edward Zigler Innovation Award

The Edward Zigler Innovation Award celebrates local programs who have partnered to create high impact services to children and families.

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Vanessa Rich Leadership Award

This award celebrates a new Head Start/Early Head Start director with three or less years of service.

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Ron Herndon Head Start Parent Scholarship

This scholarship supports Head Start parents who, through their own efforts to mobilize other parents and community members, have affected real change in their programs and communities.

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Sargent Shriver Excellence in Community Service Award

The Sargent Shriver Excellence in Community Service Award celebrates a significant individual organizational achievement in poverty alleviation, early education, or community health.

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Alumni Scholarship Award

In honor of Head Start’s proven model of success, the National Head Start Alumni Scholarship is a non-renewable merit award to celebrate Head Start student achievement in high school and support students as they begin the next leg of their educational journey.

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Meet Natalie Hankins, NHSA’s 2022 Aubrey Puckett Awardee

Aubrey Puckett Memorial Awardee Natalie Hankins says “the wonderful and positive outcomes on children and their families” keeps her going.

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Meet Paris Hill, NHSA’s 2022 Herndon Scholarship Awardee

Ron Herndon Head Start Parent Scholarship 2022 awardee Paris Hill says that Head Start has been instrumental in reaching her goals.

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