SCA reveals recipients of 2019-20 LEAD scholarship

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and S&D Coffee & Tea have announced the recipients of the 2019-2020 Leadership Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship Program.

LEAD, launched at the Re:co Symposium in April 2018, is aimed at increasing diversity of leadership within the global coffee community by enabling access to professional development resources to people from underrepresented or marginalised communities. This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of S&D Coffee & Tea.

The 2019-2020 LEAD Scholars are:

  • Sunghee Tark – co-founder and director of Bean Voyage in Costa Rica
  • Karla María Boza Carbonell – marketing, innovation, and business relations for Finca San Antonio Amatepec in El Salvador
  • Emi-Beth Quantson – CEO & founder of Kawa Moka Limited in Ghana
  • MJ Engel – teaching fellow at Phillips Academy Andover in the United States
  • Amara Sao – founder and coffee roaster at Homecoming Coffee Company in Cambodia

“We were pleased to work with SCA to develop the LEAD program in 2018. Our unified goal of providing access to resources otherwise beyond the reach to many in our coffee community is being fulfilled! The first year of this two-year inaugural cohort has exceeded our expectations, and we are so pleased that we decided to sponsor another five scholars for 2019-2020,” said Helen Griffith, vice president marketing, S&D Coffee & Tea.

“These scholars have the proven ability to create real change in the industry and we want to make sure they get off to an excellent start.”

As a global nonprofit organisation, SCA recognises that access to membership, coffee events, and education differ for individuals depending on their identity, background, and access to financial resources. The coffee industry has a lot of work to do to diversify its leadership at every point in the value chain and overcoming these obstacles will require proactive efforts and dedicated resources. LEAD is designed to be a small but important step towards progress in this area.

SCA executive director Yannis Apostolopoulos said, “The LEAD Scholarship Program is now in its second year, thanks to the generosity of our partners at S&D Coffee & Tea, and we receive dozens of applications from all over the world each year. We couldn’t be happier to work with these five professionals who will embark on a 2-year program with us that includes free participation at SCA’s industry events and educational activities, as well as career development and network expansion opportunities.”

Learn more about the LEAD program on the website at

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