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Peg Connolly Scholarship
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The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to provide the opportunity for ATRA Student members to receive the Peg Connolly Scholarship. Named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly, the first ATRA president and former Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, this program provides tremendous personal and professional benefits and rewards.  Not only do students gain professional knowledge from sessions, students have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the country. ATRA believes the future of our field depends on the continuing growth of students. Today, many former scholarship recipients prove this belief by serving vital roles within our profession.


Basic Info: This scholarship is available to undergraduate, graduate and PhD members of ATRA who are enrolled in a therapeutic recreation program during the conference year (2020).  You must be able to attend a mandatory training the day before the Annual Conference, pre-conference sessions as well as the ATRA Annual Conference in its entirety. Scholarships include full package conference registration, accommodations, and a meal stipend ($100). Students are responsible for transportation to/from the conference and are expected to arrange travel to arrive day prior to conference (9/11/20). Should there be a lack of qualified applicants in any of the categories, scholarship priority will be given to undergraduate students. This scholarship is a “working scholarship”. Students assist in various aspects of implementing the conference such as room hosting, registration and monitoring social events.  


Important  dates: 2020 Applications are live & due April 1st by 11:59PM. The application is a blended format combining online application and submitting additional documents electronically. It is the responsibility of the applicant not ATRA Home Office or ATRA Peg Connolly Scholarship committee to ensure application is received in full by deadline. ATRA Annual Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, September 12-15, 2020; scholars must arrive on 9/11/20 for training prior to pre-conferences.


Application specifics: 

The following attachments can be sent to

  1. One copy of your official electronic transcripts, sent directly from school
  2. Two letters of recommendation speaking directly to your Peg Connolly Scholarship application, sent directly from letter composer.
    1. One from a Professor.
    2. One from a Supervisor (volunteer or paid experience in recreational therapy). 

Online application is below. Of note, personal & identifying information will be redacted from applications prior to committee review.  

  1. “Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. Based upon ATRA’s definition of recreational therapy, describe and comment on areas you support, as well as the areas you would change and why.  

  2. Describe your philosophy that supports your belief and rationale for recreational therapy as a therapeutic discipline overall as well as within your intended setting/population. 

  3. Discuss how your work or volunteer experience has contributed to your professional goals in the field of recreational therapy.

  4. Describe a time when you were a leader and it did/did not go as planned. How did that experience help you grow as a leader and contribute to your professional development?

  5. Discuss how you feel this scholarship & conference attendance can help you develop personally and professionally.

Email questions to


Letters to be related to applying for scholarship and to be sent from letter's author to scholarship committee not student to committee. First letter to be from professor & second letter to be from volunteer or paid experience in rec therapy & letter is related to applying for scholarship.

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10/17/2020 » 10/25/2020
2020 ATRA Virtual Conference

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