Since 2012, the Your Weight Matters Convention and EXPO has provided life-changing experiences for all who are able to attend. From the paramount education presented to the personal connections made at Convention, there is no substitute. Over the years, I’ve even made it a family affair, bringing my mom and sister!

Prior to the 2014 Your Weight Matters Convention, my goal was to make anyone’s wish to attend a reality. This came from my own financial reality. I knew if I hadn’t been covered under volunteer travel expenses, I would have been an applicant for the scholarship program myself. I know how real it is to have to make hard financial decisions and how prioritizing our health and time away to learn and build community can be put on the backburner. While I was Chair of the National Convention Committee, I led the creation of the Convention Scholarship Program. In its inaugural year, the program awarded 13 scholarships to individuals from across the country, providing them the opportunity to take part in YWM2014. The Convention Scholarship Program received more than $100,000 in requested funds from hopeful attendees throughout the United States and was able to award more than $10,000 in scholarships.

Since that time, we’ve raised more than $100,000 and have been able to award 81 grants to applicants. The Convention Scholarship Program is 100% donor-funded – meaning we would not be able to award grants to people that need them without our fantastic community of supporters. Just as importantly, every dollar you donate to this program goes directly to funding scholarships, which means you never have to wonder where your money goes!

Written by Amber Huett-Garcia, long-time OAC supporter, former Board Member and Board Chair. Click here to donate to the YWM2022-Engage Convention Scholarship Program.