Sharon Parks Award and the Beck Scholarship

MLPP Board of Directors Award

sharon-parksThe League Board of Directors established the Sharon Parks Award in 2010 in honor of  the long tenure and leadership of Sharon Parks, who worked at the League from 1977 to 2010, including two years as president and CEO.

Recipients of the Sharon Parks Award for Leadership/Advocacy/Research to Advance the Well-Being of Michigan’s Vulnerable Residents:

Susan Broman, Oct 4, 2017
Jane Zehnder-Merrell
, May 28, 2015
Student Advocacy Center
, Oct 30, 2014
Center for Civil Justice, Oct 10, 2012
Sharon Parks, Dec 3, 2010

Beck Scholarship

MauryMaurice P. Beck, a lifelong advocate for human services, was well known for his leadership of the Michigan League for Public Policy (then called the Michigan League for Human Services), and his ever-present bow tie.

After service in the armed forces during World War II, he earned his master of social work degree at the University of Pittsburg, specializing in community organizations. After coming to Michigan in 1949, he worked within the United Way system and eventually became the executive director of the League in 1960. An able advocate, he led the League in its work advocating policy decisions that would help Michigan’s vulnerable populations and the organizations that were serving them. After retiring in 1985, he continued to be active as a volunteer for several nonprofit and community organizations.

After his death in March 2002, two organizations that he helped establish, the 501 Alliance and the Human Services Association Workers Compensation Fund, donated $10,000 each to create the Beck Scholarship. This scholarship is in honor of Mr. Beck and his long years of service to the nonprofit sector and Michigan’s disadvantaged populations. The Michigan League for Public Policy is the fiduciary for this fund.

The scholarship is available to one Master of Social Work (MSW) student each year who plans to use his or her social work degree to improve the lives of low-income people in Michigan. The scholarship awarded for the 2018-2019 school year will be $1,000.

Eligibility Requirements

The scholarship is available to individuals who have confirmed acceptance into a Master of Social Work (MSW) program at a Michigan college or university and plan to start during the calendar year of application for the scholarship. It is also available to students already in an MSW program who have at least one more school year of study.
The applicant’s course of study must have a concentration in public policy, community organization, or a related area.

How to Apply

The applicant must submit an introductory paragraph that includes name, address, phone number, email address, college or university, field of concentration, year of study and anticipated graduation date, along with an essay (750-word maximum) on how he or she plans to use the MSW degree to work for public policy that improves the lives of people in Michigan with low incomes.

Submissions should be sent to Peter Ruark no later than Friday, July 20, 2018. The award will be granted prior to September 1.

Upon granting the award, the League will include the awardee’s name, photograph and college on the organization website.


Donations to the Beck Scholarship

Donations can be sent to:

c/o Gilda Jacobs
Michigan League for Public Policy
1223 Turner Street, Suite G-1
Lansing MI 48906

Credit card donations can also be made by calling the League office at 1-517-487-5436.

 Past Scholarship Winners

The 2014-2015 school year: Carly Brin
The 2013-2014 school year: Natalia Harris
The 2012-2013 school year: Valerie James
The 2011-2012 school year: Taylor Long
The 2010-2011 school year: Audrey Dowell
The 2008-2009 school year: Laura Schmidt
The 2007-2008 school year: Leah DuBuc
The 2005-2006 school year: Melinda Haus