Latinos and Planning Division Scholarship

Applications Due March 2, 2018

About the Program

The Latinos and Planning Division (LAP) strives to address planning issues affecting Latino communities in the U.S. as well increase Latinos in the profession. The purpose of the LAP scholarship program is to foster increased interest in the study of urban planning within the Latino student population at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

The program is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and first and second year masters degree students. One scholarship of $500 will be awarded to be used for fees, books, or academic materials.


Eligible applicants shall be Latino students who intend to work as practicing professional planners in the non-profit, public or private sector and are currently enrolled in either of the following:

Application Requirements

Applicants shall submit ALL of the following by March 2, 2018:

  • 1-2 page personal statement written by the student, describing their interest in a career in planning and describing what impact the student wants to make in the planning field related to Latino communities and the profession;
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, a community leader, or current or past employer in support of the student's application and personal statement;
  • Official transcript of current course of study (for current students) or a copy of an acceptance letter from a PAB-accredited graduate planning school (for incoming students); and,
  • Resume of work experience and background.

Please scan and e-mail the required documents with "LAP 2018 Scholarship" in the subject line to Fred Solis, AICP. The Scholarship Coordinator will confirm application receipt via e-mail.

Selection Criteria

The LAP Executive Committee will review applications and determine award winners. Applications will be judged using the following criteria, listed in order of importance:

  • The significance of the applicant's personal and background statement;
  • The content in the letter of recommendation; and,
  • Academic achievement and/or service or impacts made in the Latino community or the planning profession.

As part of the selection process and at the discretion of the Executive Committee, top applicants may be required to participate in a telephone interview with committee members.

The Award Process

The Executive Committee will review applications and identify award recipients in March. The Committee will identify the top three participants and issue the award to the highest ranked. In the event that the winner cannot fulfill the requirements of the scholarship, the award will be granted to the next ranked participant. Award recipients are required to provide an e-mailed acceptance of the award to the LAP Chair within ten (10) calendar days of receiving an award notification letter. With the acceptance of the money, the award recipient will be featured the next LAP newsletter.

2017 Scholarship Recipient

Marycelith Valencia Aguilar

Marycelith (Mari) Valencia Aguilar is currently in her second year of the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University with a focus in Community Development. She is an active member of the Graduate Students of Color student group at the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), holds a student representative seat on the MURP Executive Team, and helps support the work of CUPA's Diversity and Equity Committee.

In her first year in the program, she worked for a small but mighty planning firm, Cogan Owens Greene, as a bilingual planning associate. There she helped support various initiatives throughout the Portland Metropolitan Region and the state of Oregon within the transportation, housing, and long-range planning sectors. Now, she is with EnviroIssues where she specializes in supporting planning processes and efforts to build equitable communities. She combines her experience in community mobilization and advocacy with her training as an urban planner to help design and implement inclusive, people-centered engagement programs.

Mari is inspired by the power of people to create and sustain great communities. She hopes to continue to work and grow with organizations that value diversity, equity, social justice, and sustainability after completing her master's degree in the fall of 2018.

Previous Recipients

See All Past Recipients