Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship 2017

We’re excited to share that the WordPress Foundation will once again offer the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship to attend WordCamp US 2017. The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship was established in 2015 after the unexpected loss of WordPress contributor Kim Parsell. Kim was a committed contributor to the WordPress project, and this is how the WordPress Foundation decided to honor her memory.

Who Was Kim?

Two people wearing conference badges standing together, the subject on the right has their arm around the person the left. The person on the left is Kim Parsell, the person on the right is Jose.
Photo Credit: Matt Mullenweg

One word that comes up over and over again when talking about WordPress is the word “community.” Kim Parsell, who sadly passed away in 2015, fully embraced everything that the WordPress community stands for. She earned the unofficial title of WPMom for being welcoming, nurturing, and friendly to any member of the WordPress community she met.

Here’s how Kim’s contribution to the WordPress community was explained by one of her friends, Drew Jaynes,

“What Kim contributed to the docs team and WordPress is simply irreplaceable. She was the formidable voice and editor of the core contributor handbook, half of the inline docs team, a contributing developer for the core team, a successful plugin developer, a support volunteer, an evangelist, and the all-seeing-eye of the WordPress community. More than that, she was a shining light, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend. She will be celebrated and missed by many.”

In an post written on WP Tavern about her unexpected passing, Kim’s friend Amanda stated,

“The greatest thing about Kim is that whether you’re standing at the back of the line or the front she would have walked her way down that line to let everyone know they were equally as important and that the only reason there’s a line is because everyone can’t be in the same place at once.”

To remember Kim Parsell and to honor everything she stood for, The WordPress Foundation named a scholarship after her. This scholarship is for a woman contributor with financial need who has never attended WordCamp US.

Scholarship Details

The scholarship will cover:

  • Travel to and from Nashville from the recipient’s home city,
  • hotel stay for the duration of the event,
  • a ticket to WordCamp US 2017.

The scholarship will not cover:

  • taxis
  • meals outside the official event
  • airport transportation
  • any other travel expenses

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Tuesday, August 15th at 12a.m. Pacific.

A decision will be made by November 1st, and applicants will be notified.

Who Should Apply?

Kim’s experience at WordCamp San Francisco a few months before her death was important to her, and the travel assistance program made it possible. She was passionate about recruiting and recognizing women contributors, so this scholarship in her memory is limited only to applicants who fulfill these four requirements:

  • a person who self-identifies as female
  • is an active contributor to the WordPress open source project, either through one of the contributor teams or as a local meetup or WordCamp organizer
  • has a financial need
  • has never attended WordCamp US

Kim had strong feelings about older women getting involved and being welcomed into the community, so while there is no age limit on this scholarship, we would like to especially encourage older women to apply — you are welcome, and your experience is valued here!

Applications for the 2017 Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship are now closed. Applicants will be contacted in the fall regarding their status.

NOTE: This award will result in income to the recipient that might be taxable, depending on the recipient’s circumstances. In general, scholarships paid for the purpose of study are tax-free to the recipient, but travel stipends or travel-related components of scholarships are not.

Contributing Writers: Sarah Blackstock and Jennifer Swisher