Even successful Latino/a physicians are often overwhelmed by the responsibility that inevitably comes with being the first in the family to reach seemingly insurmountable milestones—graduating from college, becoming a doctor, or publishing in academia.

“Being the first and only Latina in the department—or sometimes the entire medical center—can lead to fatigue and unanswered questions,” said Dr. Carla Minutti, a pediatric endocrinologist and researcher at Rush University Medical Center.

Many underrepresented and underserved communities have significant barriers to enroll and complete degrees in many disciplines and modalities of healthcare, not the least of which is a financial one.

By offering merit and need-based scholarships on an annual basis, MOLA aims to offer an important and meaningful source of support for our talented youth in order to reduce the overwhelming cost that many students face in the process of seeking a degree in healthcare. MOLA’s Scholarship Program will be a meaningful investment in the talent needed to address disparities in communities experiencing gaps in health status. MOLA Scholars will also be the future leaders that will move forward MOLA’s mission of addressing the health needs of Latinos with the most need in Chicago.

According to Dr. Jonathan Moreira, who is leading the MOLA Scholarship Subcommittee, “I joined MOLA so that we could help develop and mentor the next generation of Latino healthcare leaders. There are few things as professionally rewarding in helping these vibrant young Hispanics and Latinos find their voice!”

In 2018, after only celebrating one year since MOLA’s founding, we received a donation from Salesforce to facilitate our inaugural scholarship award. We are now also pleased to count on a partnership with the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation for scholarship funds to provide scholarships for even more students and support their paths towards a successful healthcare career.. If you or your organization are interested in donating to advance MOLA’s efforts to support and reward the next generation of Latino health leaders, please email us at [email protected]

Jonathan Moreira with students, Yajaira 1st scholarship recipient with Pilar Ortega, MD


MOLA Scholarship program is open to students who sign a one-year commitment to volunteer for MOLA’s Public Health Program and/or our partner community organizations and develop and implement a scholarly project resulting from their experience. The scholarly project is submitted as an abstract for a poster or oral presentation at the following year’s MOLA Latino Health Symposium. Mentorship for their scholarly activity will be provided by mentors (MOLA physician members) within MOLA’s Mentorship Program.

MOLA’s Scholarship program will provide financial support ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 per calendar year to be applied to tuition and/or living support to full- or part-time students enrolled in accredited health technical, undergraduate, or graduate programs.

Prerequisites for applicants are:
-Hispanic/Latino heritage
-Demonstrated interest in pursuing a health career
-Demonstrated interest in service to the Hispanic/Latino community
-Student must be currently pursuing higher education in a healthcare field and in good academic standing. (Technical, Undergraduate, Graduate programs will be considered)
1. Completed MOLA Scholarship Application Form. (Complete it online here)
The following components are part of the online Scholarship application form. Please note that the form must be completed all at once (you cannot save and submit later).

a. Demographic information will ask basic information about you.

b. Educational information will ask about your educational background and schools you have attended.

c. Scholarship and Academic/Professional Development will ask about your individual academic plans and dreams with four short essay questions. We want to get to know what sets you apart and why MOLA’s scholarship opportunity is right for you!

d. Indicate your commitment to complete a scholarly project that includes a minimum of 5 hours/week over 6-month period per schedule arranged by individual awardees between March and October, 2021. Awardees will be assigned a MOLA physician or health professional mentor to supervise and guide their work.

e. Indicate your commitment to present project at the MOLA Latino Health Symposium in the Fall of the following calendar year (October, 2021, exact date TBD.)


The following materials should be submitted according to the instructions on the MOLA Scholarship website, via email attachment to [email protected]. Please include “YOUR NAME – MOLA SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION” in the subject line of your message. If electronic submission is not possible, you must notify us that you will be physically mailing materials by emailing [email protected], and materials can be mailed to the following address (MOLA, Attn: Scholarship Subcommittee, P.O. Box 577672, Chicago, IL 60657-3012) and must be postmarked by the deadline. Please note that applications will not be considered “complete” until all materials have been received.

1) 2 letters of recommendation (Note: must be on institutional letterhead and signed by the letter writer).
2) Letter of good standing from your current educational institution or other documented proof of good standing.
3) Most recent academic transcript.
4) Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae.
5) [Optional] Documentation that demonstrates financial need, if applicable. Acceptable documentation includes FAFSA form, and/or may also include income tax statements or other documentation demonstrating financial need. Applicants are invited to include a written statement of financial need. However, documentation in the form of a FAFSA form or income tax statements MUST supplement the statement.

Deadline: December 21st, 2020

Please submit application and all supporting documentation by December 21st, 2020. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Recipients of the MOLA Scholarship will be notified at the MOLA Anniversary and Awards Event in February-March 2021 (exact date TBD).

Q: Does my recommender have to send their letter of recommendation to the scholarship committee email ([email protected]), or do I send it for them? 

A: We accept letters both ways, either sent directly by the letter writers or included by the applicant in the single email with all supporting documents. *Most importantly, the letter should be written or typed on an institutional letterhead and signed by the letter writer.

We also request the following for the subject line of the emails that include application documents sent by either yourself or your recommenders: “APPLICANT NAME – MOLA SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION”. This is to help us streamline the process and ensure that we can organize all your materials properly.

Q: Is this scholarship exclusive to Chicago residents and/or students attending a school in Chicago, or may any student apply granted that they meet the other requirements?

A: There is actually no geographic requirement to be eligible. Having said that, when they apply, scholars must agree that if they are selected, they will:

  • work with a MOLA mentor, so if they are not based in Chicago, mentoring meetings and check-ins will be remote (because of COVID, the program as a whole will most likely be remote regardless)
  • attend the March scholarship celebration (this year it will be remote, so it won’t require travel costs)
  • attend the October symposium (will be remote in 2021, so it won’t require travel costs)

Q: How many MOLA Scholars will be selected for this upcoming cohort? 

A: We wish that we could provide a spot to as many applicants as we desire, but based on the number of mentors and scholarship budget, we will grant spots to around 10-15 applicants. 

Q: What is a letter of good academic standing and how do I obtain one?

A: A letter of good academic standing is an official document from your academic institution that can be requested through your registrar. 

Q: is the scholarship open to undocumented/DACA studnets? 

A: Yes it is! All students who apply to our scholars program are considered for regardless of their citizenship status.

MOLA and Michael Reese Scholars Program.