Home » James Beard Foundation names Lexington student as Scholars Program recipient

James Beard Foundation names Lexington student as Scholars Program recipient

NEW YORK, NY — The James Beard Foundation announced the recipients of its 2022-2023 National Scholars Program. Established in 2016, the National Scholars Program provides scholarships of $20,000 each to 12 food-focused individuals who plan to pursue an education in the culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields.

Madison Townsend (Southeast; Lexington, KY): Townsend is currently pursuing her associates degree in baking and pastry arts at Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky. 

“The James Beard Foundation is strongly committed to supporting the innovative and driven culinary industry leaders of tomorrow,” said Anne E. McBride, PhD, vice president of programs at the James Beard Foundation. “We’re immensely proud of this year’s recipients, who all demonstrate a genuine commitment to the food industry. We are thrilled to support their journey with this distinguished scholarship opportunity.”

The National Scholars Program is a part of the larger James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program—which is awarding $459,400 in financial aid in 2022. Established in 1991, the scholarship program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution, college, or university. In the past 31 years, the program has not only grown in visibility and financial scope, but in the breadth of subjects its recipients have pursued. As of 2022, the Foundation will have awarded nearly $9 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients.

The James Beard Foundation issued an open call for applications for the National Scholars Program beginning on February 14, 2022. The application form captured information about each candidate, including educational history, employment history, volunteer work and public service, professional goals, financial status, and special circumstances. Applicants had to submit an essay describing what made them outstanding candidates for the scholarship, as well as two letters of recommendation. To ensure regional diversity, one awardee was selected from each of the twelve geographic regions defined by the James Beard Foundation Awards.

 The Scholarship Program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent company that specializes in managing sponsored educational assistance programs. ISTS hosts the online application process, vets the initial candidates for eligibility, and disburses awards to recipients. The James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee reviews the semifinalists and selects the recipients. Learn more about this year’s selection committee here.

Click here for more Kentucky business news.