The Guttmacher Institute is pleased to announce Omolola Olaleye as the recipient of the 2018 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship. Ms. Olaleye, who was chosen from an exceptionally strong pool of over 200 candidates, will use the scholarship to complete a master’s degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I am honored to be selected as the recipient of this prestigious and generous award,” said Ms. Olaleye. “The scholarship will enable me to pursue my goal of tackling political and societal barriers that obstruct access to abortion care and reproductive health services for women and young people.”

Ms. Olaleye has extensive domestic and international experience in the field of public health: After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia, she interned with Comfamiliar, a health center based in Cartagena, Colombia, and with the Population and Reproductive Health Program at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. She also worked as a health educator with the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta. In 2015, she joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Associate Program and was deployed to Puerto Rico and Florida.

“In a highly qualified group of applicants, Omolola stood out because of her passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights, which she has demonstrated over the years through her commitment to pursuing a career advocating for evidence-based policy,” said Cynthia Summers, chief operating officer and vice president for Communications & Publications at the Guttmacher Institute, and a member of the scholarship selection committee.

Reflecting on having been selected as the 2018 Cory Richards Scholar, Ms. Olaleye stated that the award will give her “an opportunity to learn from the best in the reproductive health community and a platform to make an impact through advocacy and research.”

Named in honor of a leading figure in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights whose remarkable career at the Guttmacher Institute spanned nearly four decades, the Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship reflects what was for Mr. Richards a core commitment: mentoring and nurturing the professional growth of emerging leaders. The scholarship provides financial support to students seeking advanced degrees in public health or public policy with the intention of devoting their careers to advancing policy related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. One individual is designated each year as a Cory L. Richards Scholar and awarded a one-time scholarship of $15,000 to support full-time graduate study at an accredited institution in the United States. In keeping with the Institute’s and Cory’s commitment to equalizing opportunity, priority is given to students with a demonstrated financial need.

Find out more about all of the Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship recipients.