Student Experience and Requirements

The O’Brien Foundation Scholarship Program will seek to embed social justice and civic engagement into the educational experience of our O’Brien Scholars by the following schedule:

Year One:

O’Brien Scholars would be expected to engage in direct service to the community of Lawrence, MA through working at Hands to Help for a total of 5 hours per week throughout the academic year.

Year Two:

O’Brien Scholars will be expected to work at Hands to Help for a total of 5 hours per week.

O’Brien Scholars would engage in an Alternative Spring, Winter, or Summer Break Service Immersion program in order to broaden the scope of their awareness of social justice issues in the world.

Year Three:

O’Brien Scholars will take on a leadership role at Hands to Help and act as a mentor for the Year One and Year Two cohorts of students. Year Three Scholars will be expected to work at Hands to Help for 3 hours per week throughout the academic year. (Exceptions will be made for students participating in study abroad and co-op programs.) 

O’Brien Scholars would also do one of the following:
  1. Lead a Service Immersion Experience
  2. Participate in an International Service Experience
  3. Participate in the work of an agency dedicated to social change locally
Year Four:

O’Brien Scholars will fulfill a supervisory role at Hands to Help and be expected to work for 3 hours per week throughout the academic year. O’Brien Scholars will either develop a capstone project directed at real life advocacy for social change or participate in a year-long advocacy project with a local non-profit. This project would invite them to integrate their knowledge gained through their Academic Major with their understanding of social justice.

Applicants Will Be Required To:

  • Submit the Common Application and all required credentials
  • Submit the FAFSA
  • Recipients will be selected by a committee including representatives from Merrimack College and the O’Brien Foundation

Selection Criteria:

  • Strong academic performance and intellectual passion
  • Past commitment to community service
  • Distinction in leadership activities in high school and community
  • Strength of vision for how personal goals can be fulfilled at Merrimack with the support of the O’Brien Scholarship Program

Commitment to:

  • Service
  • Social Justice
  • Giving Back

Becoming civically engaged leaders through:

  • Year round programing
  • Conferences
  • Volunteering at H2H
For more information please contact:

Rosana Urbaez at or 978-837-4381