Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship Application Now Open!

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce the continuation of their Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship program for CiderCon® 2024. This scholarship is designed to bring historically marginalized groups to CiderCon® to increase the accessibility of cider education and jump-start the careers and ownership-pathways of these cider professionals.

The scholarship package includes: registration to CiderCon® 2024 (including travel and lodging) and the entire suite of ACA’s Certified Cider Professional educational programming leading up to sitting for the Certified Pommelier™ exam  (Level 1 CCP training and certification exam, two Certified Pommelier™sensory webinars; the Certified Pommelier™ study guide, and the registration fee for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam).

Applications are now being accepted and the deadline to apply is November 27. Those interested in applying can fill out the application form here. Recipients will be contacted to schedule a brief interview and winners of the scholarship will be notified by December 5. CiderCon® 2024 takes place January 16 – January 19, 2024 in Portland, Oregon

This scholarship is part of a broader effort by the ACA to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the cider industry. In 2019 the ACA launched the Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee which recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an important and necessary part of present and future successes of the cider industry. This committee structures its work around a belief that existing structures of power, privilege and discrimination must be actively questioned and evaluated in order to create equitable opportunities in an environment that embraces and values our differences. They strive to create events, opportunities and organizational policies that embody these values, and to continue evaluating these practices for sustained growth and improvement.

“This scholarship is one of our best tools for fostering a more diverse cider industry” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon® attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

Meet Our Scholarship Coordinator

Olivia Pener’s passion for food and drink, and the way they bring people together, was ignited as a small child whose large family always gathered over meals in the kitchen. That flame was stoked by her experiences growing up in her family’s restaurant and being surrounded by multicultural foodways in St. Louis, MO. Now, after almost 20 years in the service industry and the nonprofit world, she brings her fervor for people and palates to the American Cider Association as their “Cider is for Everyone” Scholarship Coordinator. A recipient of the scholarship herself, Olivia was welcomed into the world of cider with open arms. She is excited to contribute to the growth and evolution of the cider industry as a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and dynamic environment for all. She lives in Mid-Missouri with her two cats, Felix and Nermal, and her Chihuahua mix, Swiper.

Have questions about the scholarship? Reach out to Olivia with any questions you might have!

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