The MCD Memorial Scholarship

The Mildred Church Dandridge Memorial Scholarship is a scholarship awarded to graduating seniors to put towards their higher education who embody the spirit of the Mildred Church Dandridge and have exhibited exceptional leadership in initiating environmental action or change in the community while attending The School of Environmental Leadership. 

The scholarship was renamed to the Mildred Church Dandridge Memorial Scholarship in 2016 after the passing of Mildred Church Dandridge, an instrumental team member in the founding of The School of Environmental Leadership in 2011.


Seniors interested in applying to the Mildred Church Dandridge Memorial Scholarship please review the guidelines and application here

The deadline for applications for The Class of 2021 is: May 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Please send your completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

**Please note the MCD Memorial Scholarship Committee reviews applications. The Chair of the Committee is Robin Dandridge, one of Mildred's daughters. Additionally, the Committee includes SEL Board Members who do not have a direct connection to the senior class. No SEI or SEL staff members are a part of the Committee.

Scholarship Donations

The School of Environmental Leadership appreciates all donations that help continue the legacy of Mildred Church Dandridge.

To make a donation, go here.

Note: Donations to the Mildred Church Dandridge Memorial Scholarship Fund are tax deductible.  

Previous Recipients

Class of 2020: Molly Madden & Kai Nittenberg

Class of 2019: Ana Ostrovsky

Class of 2018: Paloma Siegel

Class of 2017: Erin Charlton

In Memoriam: Mildred Church Dandridge

The SEL is deeply saddened to announce that we have lost one of our most cherished staff members, Mildred Church Dandridge, who had been with The SEL since its inception in 2011.

Mildred was fundamental to the forming of SEI and helped write one of the first SEI grants in 1999. She acted as SEI’s Education Program Director until 2007, working with countless schools and engaging youth in their communities. She worked diligently to build SEI programs, where she engaged elementary through high school students to be part of the climate solution. She taught high school students to assess small business energy use, developed a year-long suite of curriculum scaffolding climate instruction for 4th and 5th graders. She worked with countless districts to use their facilities as a teaching tool, helping reduce energy use in schools through student and staff behavior change. Though she “retired” in 2007, she still remained a member of the SEI team and ran our Building Operators Certification Program and helped launch The SEL. Mildred wrote key curriculum for both SEI and The SEL and assisted in laying the foundation for curriculum to receive University of California A-G approval for The SEL, as well as obtaining college credit for the courses. Throughout these contributions, Mildred sought ways to help train young people to take a clearly defined environmental leadership role in their communities.

In addition to all of her accomplishments at SEI and The SEL, Mildred was an integral part of her community. She volunteered her time to start Odyssey of the Mind at the Dixie School District in San Rafael, as well as the innovative GATE program that focused on creative math projects. She was the treasurer of the East Bay Peace Action Network and served on committees at the El Cerrito Library and El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee. Before she joined the SEI and The SEL team, she was the Director of Academic Advising and an adjunct faculty member at The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York. She helped to found The Sage Colleges Women’s Center, where she empowered young women to have the confidence to take on anything they wanted in their lives and careers – to be feminists. Mildred believed by developing an environmental leadership role, young people have the potential to change the way they think about themselves and the environment. It was all of these accomplishments and more that lead to Mildred being honored with the Purpose Prize Fellowship in 2007 and becoming a multiyear awardee of the YWCA Woman of the Year Award.

As instrumental as Mildred was in establishing SEI and The SEL, it is her heart of gold and vibrant smile that we will miss the most. Mildred put her voice and action behind her values and gave 200% to these organizations. Many of us at The SEL have worked alongside Mildred for years and miss her immensely.