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Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship

Award honors New England high school seniors who demonstrate a humane ethic

  • Abbie Branchflower, 2010 Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship winner.

  • Zoe Lillis, 2009 recipient, with Spooky, the donkey she rescued and rehabilitated. Courtesy of Zoe Lillis

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship. Since 1965, the award has been assisting students who, in the course of working in the service of animals, demonstrate a deep respect for animals and people. 

Administered by The HSUS, the award provides up to $3,500, which may be divided among multiple recipients. Each award is given as payment to the college, university, or specialized training academy at which the recipient will be matriculating in 2018. Students from New England public, private, parochial and vocational schools are eligible.

Actions meriting the award may include long-term, direct work on behalf of animals; inspiring leadership in animal protection organizations; papers, speeches or presentations on humane topics; and heroic rescues of animals in danger. A humane attitude, an understanding of humane ethics and past performance on behalf of animals are essential. A passive liking for animals or the mere desire to enter an animal care field does not justify the award, nor does animal conservation for the purpose of maintaining hunting stocks. High scholastic standing is not a requisite for this scholarship; please do not include academic transcripts in the application. Financial need is also not a consideration.

Applications may be submitted by any Class of 2018 high school senior in New England and must be postmarked by March 25, 2018. There is no standardized application form to complete. Applications should be written in letter form and include:

  • student name and school
  • student home address and phone number
  • a narrative of the student’s achievements in animal protection
  • a discussion of his or her attitude toward animals
  • a description of activities done to promote animal protection
  • plans for future humane/animal protection work (in either professional or volunteer capacity)

Applicants must provide documentation of the activities cited and recommendations from at least three people. Supporting letters from teachers, mentors, supervisors, peers and other observers are also helpful. Students may review the rubric guiding the assessment of applications. Applications should be sent to:

The Humane Society of the United States

Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship

1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037

The award recipient will be announced by May 15, 2018.

The Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship honors the memories of several members of the Shaw and Worth families:

Christopher Gratton Shaw (1946-1965) was recognized as a dedicated humanitarian during his brief life. He loved and gave scrupulous care to his horses, dogs and cats. He revered the woods and fields and all the creatures therein and was actively involved in the rescue of distressed animals, from saving a badly injured peacock to rehabilitating a stable full of sick and starving horses. His example inspired kindness in children and earned respect from adults.

Admiral James C. Shaw (1913-1988) graduated Annapolis in 1936 and served as a U.S. Navy line officer, knight commander of the Royal Nassau (the Netherlands), naval historian, naval technical director for The Cain Mutiny, educator and humane society executive who played a significant role in promoting humane education throughout New England. He served as the executive director of the HSUS Connecticut branch, which he developed, and later as director of the HSUS New England Regional Office. He was instrumental in establishing the Norma Terris Humane Education Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. The support of the Norma Terris-Albert Firestone Foundation significantly enhances the scholarship award with its generous contributions.

Elizabeth R.P. Shaw (1919-2001), the wife of James Shaw, was an art teacher and author whose love for animals was her life. Every stray and discarded animal she came across found a home with her. She understood their needs and gave freely of her every hour to their well-being. Betsy’s animals, in turn, were unequivocally devoted to her. Her kindness to animals was a beacon to all, and throughout Betsy's life, many sought her advice in their treatment and betterment. In addition, Betsy was steadfast in her support of her husband’s efforts to build the Humane Education Center in East Haddam, Connecticut.

Elizabeth Shaw-Worth (1950-1992), whose interest in children and animals was paramount in her life, had a remarkable ability to relate to the wild animals whom neighbors brought to her home. She understood that children who loved animals and were kind to them would grow up to be kind and loving toward other human beings. She taught her own children to respect all animal life and to aid those in distress.

Ian James Worth (1980-1999), who once nursed a raccoon with a broken leg back to health and returned it to the wild, would have carried on the family tradition of the humane treatment of animals and made his family proud.

The Shaw-Worth families offer special thanks to the Norma Terris-Albert Firestone Foundation for its continuous support, The HSUS for its efforts to assure the scholarship’s success and all who have contributed so generously. -Samuel Shaw, President, Shaw-Worth Scholarship

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