Carolyn Smith Watts Scholarship

Carolyn Smith Watts Memorial Scholarship

With the blessing and support of her family, Leadership Long Beach is establishing and supporting a scholarship in memoriam of Carolyn Smith Watts, alumnus of the Institute Class of 2001, Past President from 2009-2010, Honorary Board of Governor and LLB Board Historian.  Carolyn was an active member of the Long Beach community and a tireless supporter of Leadership Long Beach upon joining the organization.  She served the city through her service in commissions and boards and connecting people in the city through personal meetings or gatherings at her home or in the community.


Leadership Long Beach is establishing a scholarship fund to support the ideals and spirit of Carolyn.


A former police officer in Lansing, Michigan, Carolyn Smith Watts came to Long Beach in 1994.  Carolyn immediately began connecting with the people in her community as she helped through campaigning for Patricia Lofland for LB College Board of Trustees in 1996.  Going forward, Carolyn served as a board and commission member to many organizations, including the Long Beach Housing Development Company, the Citizen Police Complaint Commission, the Long Beach Civil Service Commission and Leadership Long Beach.  Over the years she would meet, talk and hold gatherings with local officials, community groups and anyone else who wanted to make Long Beach a better city, which was one of her passions.


2009 – 2010 LLB Board of Directors Installation

Carolyn was one of 29 members of the Institute Class of 2001 and beginning in 2002, she began immediately assisting with the Youth Leadership Long Beach program that was restarted after a few year hiatus.  She began serving on the board of directors in 2003 and served through until becoming Board President for the 2009-10 fiscal year.  Transitioning to the Honorary Board of Governors, she championed those past presidents, founders and key community leaders to be more active in guiding the organization to be the premier leadership organization for the city.  In addition, she accepted the role of Board Historian to help preserve the history of the organization.


Carolyn’s family and close friends have asked Leadership Long Beach to create a scholarship in memory of her.  We are accepting donations from the community to fund an Institute program scholarship.  Carolyn, a convener and connector of people looking to make Long Beach better, was a great ambassador of the city of Long Beach and Leadership Long Beach.


All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive an acknowledgement from Leadership Long Beach. 

Scholarship Application Information

Scholarship Purpose

Thanks to the generosity of Carolyn’s family and friends, a scholarship fund has been established to support tuition costs for accepted candidates to the Institute program.  Carolyn was an inspiring leader and mentor who led numerous community efforts besides her Leadership Long Beach activities; she especially worked in advancing opportunities for women and people of color.

Scholarship Criteria

The Carolyn Smith Watts scholarship is intended for women who have been accepted to the upcoming/current Institute program.  Applicants should have the following traits:

  • Demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the community
  • Have taken/aspirations toward leadership roles in the community
  • A desire to help empower others around them
  • Work toward the community becoming more inclusive

Scholarship Awards

For the Institute Class of 2020, there will be up to two (2) scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each.  These awards represent more than 50% of the Institute tuition costs.  A committee of Carolyn family and friends will award the scholarships and a presentation/acknowledgement will be made at the Community Welcome Reception.