Working closely with dedicated faculty and administrators, Ozanam Scholars investigate and address real-world social justice issues, inspiring change throughout their college careers and beyond.
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The Ozanam Scholars Program provides a platform for students to critically examine the systems that perpetuate poverty and take action to advance social justice through academic scholarship, Vincentian service, and global citizenship throughout college and beyond. The program develops students to become social justice advocates and responsible citizens in their local and global communities.
Ozanam Scholars are named to honor the nineteenth century Vincentian lay scholar, Frederic Ozanam, who sought to address the challenges of poverty in France by mobilizing his fellow university students to provide direct service to the poor. Students possessing strong academic credentials as well as demonstrated disposition to service will be selected as scholars and awarded a $10,000 annual scholarship. Ozanam Scholars will fulfill a Social Justice minor requirement to provide them with the tools to understand and address issues of inequity and social injustice both at home and abroad.
The Ozanam Scholars Program seeks to:
Through academic study and program research, students develop the skills to analyze social issues and propose workable solutions. Ozanam Scholars are required to minor in Social Justice and complete other program specific classes. Guided by faculty, community leaders and noted experts, scholars develop their skills as leaders with the knowledge to confront social challenges and the confidence to effect positive change.
Through servant leadership, students deepen their understanding of, fulfill and promote the Vincentian mission. In the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, Ozanam Scholars work with community partners to alleviate injustice and develop workable solutions at local, national and international sites. In addition to service, students reflect on their experiences and discuss issues impacting those in need.
Students develop as global citizens through the exploration of different cultures in local, national, and international communities. Through these experiences, they gain an understanding of various groups in a global context and the role that each of us play in maintaining a just society.
Approximately 25 incoming freshmen are chosen each year to participate in the Ozanam Scholars Program. The program includes an annual, renewable scholarship of up to $10,000.
During their four years, students must:
Armed with a passion for learning and his faith, Frédéric Ozanam arrived in Paris in 1831 to study law at the University of the Sorbonne. After becoming discouraged by the poverty he witnessed on the streets of Paris, he started a club to debate issues of social injustice with his college peers. One day, while discussing the Church’s role in society, a member of the club questioned, “What do you do beside talk to prove the faith you claim?” Frédéric took up this call to action and organized his friends to serve in the poorest tenements in Paris. It was during this time that he met Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity known for her commitment to assisting the poor. With her guidance, Frédéric formed the organization now known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Frédéric went on to become a journalist, professor and public speaker dedicated to faith and sustainable service. He continued to aid the impoverished and speak out for his faith throughout his life. Today, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serves millions of impoverished people worldwide, and Blessed Frédéric Ozanam remains an inspiring example for young men and women seeking to change the world.
Who is eligible to apply for the Ozanam Scholars Program?
Students applying for their first year of undergraduate study (usually high school seniors) are eligible to apply for the program. We welcome students from all over the country and across the globe.
Do I have to be entering a specific field of study to apply for the program?
The Ozanam Scholars program welcomes students from all academic disciplines.
How many students are typically accepted into the program?
We accept approximately 25 students into the program every year.
Do I have to live on campus as an Ozanam Scholar?
Freshman Scholars are required to live on campus during the first year of the program.
What are the program requirements?
To learn about the program requirements, see above.
Am I required to study abroad?
All accepted scholars are required to participate in a St. John’s University Study Abroad program, at their own expense, during the fall or spring of their sophomore year.
The application deadline for the Ozanam Scholars Program is January 15, 2021.
Please note, the Ozanam Scholars application will become available only after you have completed your St. John's University application. After the St. John's application is completed, you will receive additional communication from St. John's allowing you to apply for additional scholarships, including the Ozanam scholarship, within your portal.
Executive Director of Mission and the Vincentian Institute for Social Action