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Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial RECAMFT Scholarship

The Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial RECAMFT Scholarship Program

To honor the legacy of Joe and Pam Ward, on November 12, 2021, the RECAMFT Board of Directors set up a Scholarship Committee, set aside $4500 for scholarships, and adopted a scholarship program. The scholarship program consists of:

Two (2) annual gifts of $1,000 with a free 1-year chapter membership to pre-licensed members of RECAMFT.

One (1) annual gift of $1,000 with a free 1-year chapter membership to a newly licensed member (up to three years post-licensure) of RECAMFT.

Annual budget: $3000

Initial funding goal: $9,000 (3 years of scholarships)

  • Applications accepted from January 1 to April 30th annually - UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED TILL MAY 24 FOR THE 2024 SCHOLARSHIPS
  • Winners selected and announced at June Board Meeting
  • Winners thanked at the September Speaker Meeting
  • Funds distributed in July

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must be a verified current member of CAMFT and RECAMFT
  • Work or reside in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, or Mendocino County
  • Demonstrate Financial Need
  • Lifetime limit of 2 scholarships
Members of the Scholarships, Grants, and Awards Committee, RECAMFT board members, and their families are not eligible to apply for the scholarships. 
Priority will be given to those who are underrepresented in the mental health field (BIPOC, disabilities, LGBTQ+, elders, etc.).

Application Criteria: Please cover the following in your submission: 

  • A statement about yourself explaining how your personal and professional background and experience qualify you for this award
  • A statement of financial need indicating how the scholarship with benefit you
  • A statement explaining your dedication to the profession and your clinical aspirations

Writing guidelines: 1-2 pages TOTAL; 12-point font, double-spaced, 1" margins. Be sure your full name is on the document. Please submit as a Word .doc/docx or PDF.

To apply, email your submission to on or before April 30th UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 24, 2024. Include in the subject line if you are applying for a Pre-Licensed or Newly-Licensed scholarship.

Excerpt from the October 2022 Redwood Empire Therapist Newsletter...

Congratulations to RECAMFT's first award recipients of the Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial Scholarships!

Bree Watson, AMFT and Claudia Hernandez, AMFT were each awarded one year memberships to RECAMFT and $1000!

Bree WatsonBree Watson (she/they) has spent the past 3 years working with youth and families experiencing trauma and wants to become EMDR certified to help them heal. Their mission is to help LGBTQ+ clients feel supported and validated for who they are. They attended CIIS and currently practice at The Petaluma People Services Center.

Claudia HernandezClaudia Hernandez (she/her) is a first generation daughter of Mexican immigrants. She has worked on Skid Row as a Case Manager for unhoused Los Angeles residents with severe mental illnesses and trauma. Her experiences there planted the seed of becoming a therapist and she enrolled at SSU. She is excited to do research on mental health and the Latinx community and to reduce negative cultural stigmas. She currently practices at SOS Counseling Center.

Excerpt from the September 2023 Redwood Empire Therapist Newsletter...

Announcing the 2023 Winners of the Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial RECAMFT Scholarship

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of The Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial RECAMFT Scholarship for 2023! Congratulations to Erin Prieskorn, LMFT, Nicole Penrod, AMFT, and Diana Northness, LMFT!

Erin PrieskornErin Prieskorn, LMFT was recently licensed in January and is a Sonoma County native with a passion for helping local clients with chronic health conditions as well as those impacted by disasters and PTSD. Erin is currently developing skills for an integrative mind, body, and acceptance-based therapy for these clients while pursuing ACT training and publishing a workbook.

Nicole PenrodNicole Penrod, AMFT graduated from SSU in December 2022 and is an Associate in private practice. Their greatest joy is helping clients move through challenging transitions and cultivating their own voice. Nicole is a bicultural, bilingual, trans/non-binary clinician who works from a racial and social justice framework and specializes in work with creatives and the LGBTQ+ community.

Diana Northness

Diana Northness, LMFT recently completed her first year in private practice. Diana treats children as young as 4 with years of experience in play therapy and attachment therapy. She is currently in the process of becoming certified in Brainspotting and would like to invest in more trauma training.

Here's the goal!! 

  • Members raise $4500.
  • RECAMFT provides $4500.
  • Total Goal $9,000 
This funds 3 years of scholarships at $3000/year for prelicensed or newly licensed RECAMFT members. 

"I think it is amazing you are considering setting up a scholarship program in my parents' honor. Our family would be honored. I know my parents would love for that to be a legacy they leave behind and to continue to empower and support others' growth."   -- Andrew Ward* 

Members Fundraising Goal: $4,500

RECAMFT is honoring Joe and Pam Ward and their three adopted children by creating a memorial scholarship and grant program. There is one scholarship honoring each child, and ten grants. The initial fundraising goal to support this memorial program is $10,500 (3 years of scholarships at $3500/year).

On Nov. 12, 2021 the RECAMFT Board of Directors voted to create a Scholarship Committee, and to provide 50% of the funds needed for the first three (3) years of this $3000/yr annual scholarship program. The Board authorized $4500 to be set aside to fund 50% of the scholarships for 3 years. The total initial funding goal is $9,000.

The RECAMFT Board hopes our members will do the rest, raising the additional $4500 to complete our vision of the first three years of scholarships for our prelicensed and newly licensed members, and honoring the legacy of Joe and Pam Ward who gave so much to our chapter.
Collected: $5,156.00
Goal: $4,500.00


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Joseph "Joe" and Pamela Ward
A decade of service to RECAMFT

Joe and Pam Ward each served as RECAMFT's Administrative Consultant starting with Pam in Sept. 2012. She served until her death in Dec. 2016. Joe seamlessly took over after Pam until his death in Oct. 2021. It was thanks to Joe that RECAMFT began filming our presentations beginning in 2013 leading to a very healthy collection of videos over the years, and putting RECAMFT on the map as the only CAMFT chapter offering this unique service at the time. 

Joe and Pam had three adopted children, two daughters, Jannea and Simone, and a son, Andrew. Pam ran an adoption agency, and avidly believed in helping children by adopting them to good homes. They have one grandson. 

* Email to Laura Strom, RECAMFT's Acting President, October 17, 2021. Andrew is Joe and Pam Ward's son. 

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