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NASW Foundation announces Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship recipients

Allyson Black-Foley and Gilbert Nick receive scholarships

Washington, D.C.— The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) has announced the 2013 Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship recipients. The Lyons Scholarships are awarded to Master of Social Work candidates who express an interest in or work with the African American community through practice in health or mental health services. Scholarship recipients work in hospitals, medical clinics, and social services agencies that provide treatment and specialized services to African American patients.
This year’s awardees include:

  • Allyson Black-Foley (Smith College), who will be working as a school-based intern on a Student Intervention Team in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Black-Foley worked with youth and their families at Wayside Youth and Family Support Network in Waltham, MA and chairs the Board of Directors for Jitegemee, a school and vocational training center for homeless youth in Machakos, Kenya. Allyson graduated from the University of Vermont in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies and a minor in Political Science.
  • Gilbert Nick (Columbia University), who has dedicated his work to promoting equity and social justice, domestically and internationally. Additionally, he has worked with HIV/AIDS programs in Botswana; directed a collaborative conference-planning group on vulnerable populations and public health emergencies in New England; and worked on behalf of low-income adults with legal issues in New York City.

The scholarship is a memorial to Verne LaMarr Lyons, a social worker and NASW national staff member, who died in 1989 while waiting for a heart transplant. Mr. Lyons committed his life to increasing awareness of pernicious health concerns affecting African Americans such as insufficient prenatal care, infant mortality, AIDS, cirrhosis, and general life expectancy.

For more information about the NASW Foundation or educational scholarships, please visit or e-mail


The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is a charitable organization created to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 140,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.