Application Instructions


Applicants will be selected for awards.  Applications can only be submitted once per year.  Your application will be reviewed by a panel of judges, but all information will remain confidential and will not be shared without your permission.


Step 1:  Determine if you are eligible. You are eligible if:

  • You are a woman who has overcome challenges such as poverty, violence, abuse or neglect.
  • You have financial need.
  • Y• You are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate or associate degree program
  • You are motivated to achieve your education and career goals.
  • You reside within San Diego County and are a United States citizen. (a social security number is required; however, you will not be asked to share this information unless you have been given an award.)
  • You do not have an advanced degree (Masters, Doctorate).
  • You are not a Girlfriends Care member or employee and not an immediate family of either.


Step 2:  Tell us about yourself

Fill out the award application telling us about yourself.  Your information will be kept confidential and shared only with the evaluators unless you give us written permission to use your story to publicize the program.


Step 3:  Ask people to tell us about you

You will need two different people – who are not related to you – to fill out the reference forms you received with this application.  It is recommended that you request references from people who know you from an educational, work or organizational setting.  Please email this form to your references and request they email the forms back to you when completed. Only two references will be accepted.  Please use the form and do not submit reference letters.


Step 4:  Submit your application

Attach your application and two reference forms to an email and send to   Incomplete applications or applications received without reference forms will not be considered.



Send an email to  or check out the NEXT STEP FORWARD Frequently Asked Questions at


Ready to Apply?

Download your application here and your reference form here.


We wish you the best of luck in achieving your NEXT STEP FORWARD in your educational and professional goals!