Joyce Woodman contracted polio when she was seven years old and spent four months in an iron lung. She survived, but the illness left her without the use of her right arm and very limited use of her left arm and hand. With the support of family, physical therapists, doctors, and friends, as well as her own inner strength and resourcefulness, she learned to compensate for her handicap. Joyce was self-reliant, upbeat, and resilient.

She attended Concord Public Schools for K-12, graduated from Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) in 1965. She commuted from Concord to Boston University for four years, driving herself in a modified car that enabled her to steer with the help of her left leg, and graduated from Boston University College of Liberal Arts with a degree in the Fine Arts. She worked for the Concord Public Library in Special Collections for 27 years. Throughout those years, she won the admiration and respect of the library staff and all who came into contact with her. She valued history and antiquity and enthusiastically served on the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association board for many years.

Joyce loved her family and her dogs, and she had a deep appreciation for nature - especially, the changing of the seasons and the wind. During her lifetime, she traveled the world, including the Far East, Europe, and the U. S. She overcame her handicap with her "I can do it myself" determined spirit and love for life. After retiring from the library, Joyce became the primary caregiver for her mother. They lived in their 1830 farmhouse where she had grown up and lived her entire life. She served faithfully in that role until the end of her life in 2015. This scholarship was established by her brother, Byron Woodman, to honor her life and spirit.