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Darclei V. McGregor Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Nov 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Dec 1, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Master's or doctoral degree
Field of Study:
Counseling or psychology

The Darclei V. McGregor Memorial Scholarship seeks to honor the life of Darclei V. McGregor, who was a dear friend and collegue. She was a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist. She served the mental health community in a way that demonstrated kindness, care and compassion. Her professionalism, integrity, and clinical acumen were evident to anyone in contact with her. We need more mental health providers like Darclei.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) prior to the Covid 19 outbreak and subsequent pandemic, one in five people (51.5 million) people had a mental illness.  

In communities across the country (and around the world), fear of contracting the deadly virus, loss of loved ones, painful social isolation, and economic setbacks eroded community well-being and created an unprecedented need for mental health providers.

Here are a look a some alarming statistics taken from statistical data collected from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) , Mental Health America (MHA) , and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) :

• Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

• More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.

• 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.

• 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point in their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.

• 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

• Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-14

• The national rate of adults experiencing suicidal ideation has increased every year since 2011-2012.

• In 2022 the percentage of adults who reported serious thoughts of suicide was 4.58%, which is an increase of 664,000 people from the data in the year prior.

Currently, the mental health community is facing a shortage of qualified mental health providers, which is projected to worsen over the next few years. For instance, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration in order to meet the mental health needs of the United States Population we “need to add 10,000 providers to each of seven separate mental healthcare professions by 2025 to meet the expected growth in demand.”

Our country (our world) needs qualified mental health clinicians and providers.

Any student who is currently pursuing a doctoral or master's degree in counseling or psychology may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, submit an essay of 1500 words telling us about your inspiration for pursuing a career in mental health.

Selection Criteria:
Passion, Drive, Impact
Published July 25, 2023
Essay Topic

With the current mental health crisis, what has inspired you to choose a career in this field?

1450–1550 words

Winners and Finalists

December 2023

Karen Edgington
Savana Reyes
Autumn Hopson
Elizabeth Gorski
Tatyana Boerner
Kaitlyn Lewis
Deisy Gonzalez
dallas day
Brianna Gonsahn
donnya phillips
Christopher Froelich
Deborah Hull
Justin Gonzales
Michelle Chung
Olivia Gooch
Angelica Leyva
Lauren Miller
Nicole Lawrence
Erica Smith
Yahnierra Bellamy
Arissa Paje
Alexandra Waldron
Christiana Leal
Allison Michie
April Wirtz
Jasmin Greene
Amber Mejia
Jenny Lu
Latriece Anderson
Courtney Ryan
rachel ochoa
Kalli Hicks
Karry Olandese
Tiffany Gutierrez
Megan Sessions
Kimberly Correia
Donna Hludzinski
Sarah Close
Maricay O'Shea
Brittany Ramos
Krista Schollenberger
Jessica Filpe
Jennifer Williamson
Taylor Goetz
Devon Torres
Tori Rhea
Sydney Major
Madison Ledgerwood
Jamie La Paz
Jenna Alaskar
Lindsay Jaffe
Tamiko Ann Lugo
elyse echegaray
Chelsea Mitchell
Jordan Moore
Corbin McCown
Jessica Almazan
Chloe Tobin
Stefany Fisher
Attaira Prince
Aeshia Hines
Kezban Comak
Anthony Ards
Moagolia Lor
Gabrielle Banzon
Nilmarie Mayol
Mary Armour
Brianna Oyeyemi
Sara Miller
MArianne Gamble
Caroline Linde
Beth Ridley
Ashley Ekegren
Madelynn Pfister
Meghan Mirabal
jaden kessler
Elizabeth Chamoun
Aaron Jones
Hannah Thompson
Zina Ogu
Genesis Terrazas Belmares
Ixchel Collazo
Ashley Cooper
nawal rashid
Shamila Martin
Ki Ip
Lindsay Maruszewski
Katherine Dobson
Mindy Schuler
Lisa Castellani
Brianna Erfman
Lily Ho
Becca Cardoza
Annamaria Kendrat
Jerusha Parsons
Sharla Rider
Madison Pratt
Douglas McDowell
Sandy Ahumada
Jerica Rowley
Sanjana Rao Karanam
Loren Alexander
Justine Brennan
Emily Otoo
Michelle Fan
Honesty Stanley
Melissa West
Kharis Hughes
Courtney Traphagen
Emily Harper
Samantha bruk
Lindsay Warren
June Otten
Edie Lingle
Jessica Clemons
Brianny Hernandez
Sinem Erbicer
Teresa Morring
Lara Baggio
Chelsey Seibold
Tatianna Mensah
Rachel Drew
Kayla Prieto
Lester Lee
Crystal Choi
Carrie Hilson
Mandalyn Alcala
David Rouxel
Raquel Valenzuela

Winning Application

Lois Mensah
Bowie State UniversityGAITHERSBURG, MD
Nurturing Mental Health: My Passionate Journey The Darclei V. McGregor Memorial Scholarship honors a life that embodied the very essence of compassion and healing in a society where stress and mental health difficulties are all too common. Darclei left a legacy of compassion and understanding that continues to guide individuals who choose to advocate for mental health. The realization of the importance of mental health has dramatically changed my own life, but getting there has been a long and winding road that started with a rigid childhood and a complete lack of emotional expression. Due to my upbringing in a charismatic church, I felt pressured to participate in a wide variety of ministries and was exposed to a similarly harsh view of mental health as my own family. Thus, my own personal challenges, doubts, and suppressed feelings haunted me from the outskirts. Yet in the midst of these chaotic events, a ray of hope came in the form of Reverend Douglas, who offered therapy not as a career but as an act of kindness. My confused feelings started to find clarity and healing, thanks to his attentive listening and constant encouragement. My first step on the road to becoming one of the many competent clinicians the world so desperately needs, this experience sparked a lifelong interest in mental health as a field of study. Growing up in a strict environment, my life was intricately woven with the fabric of a charismatic church that exerted a profound influence on my family and community. The church was more than just a place of worship; it was an integral part of who we were. My dad serves as a minister, and my mom is a deacon, so they both have significant responsibilities in the church. From the choir, drama club, and dance team to the projection team and my role as a female youth ministry assistant leader, I was deeply immersed in the church's activities. The church, in its sincerity, appeared like a safe haven where I might escape the mental anguish that plagued me. Nonetheless, there was a dark undertone to my church membership that reflected my family's view on mental health: it was nonexistent and unacceptable. There was a lot of stigma attached to talking about mental health issues in our particular community. This led to me struggling with emotional discord, as I became lost in a tangle of confusing sensations and suppressed thoughts. At first, I faced this challenge alone, unwilling to speak up for fear of judgment in a setting where such topics were taboo. Amid the darkness of my background and the stigmas associated with mental health in my community, Reverend Douglas was a beacon of light and healing. He was not just a priest but a guardian angel, a beacon of kindness and compassion. His willingness to give up his spare time to help me through therapy was a turning point in my life. Reverend Douglas possessed a rare ability to listen to me and to understand the weight of my feelings behind my words. This affirmation was life-changing because it freed me to talk about my issues openly without worrying about what others would think of me. With his unwavering support, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery, confronting my past, my fears, and my insecurities. These sessions taught me the value of opening up and the strength that can come from being vulnerable. Instead of coming out of this experience as the same person, weighed down by pent-up emotions, I found that it made me stronger and more willing to face the complexities of life. Reverend Douglas played a pivotal role in guiding me from the shadows of my past into the promising light of self-acceptance and mental health awareness. Beginning my career as a receptionist at Shady Grove Medical Center was a turning point in my lifelong commitment to mental health. As I stepped into this role, I found myself on the front lines of a world I had yearned to be a part of, yet one I had only glimpsed through Reverend Douglas's guidance. My responsibilities as a receptionist extended beyond simply answering phones and greeting visitors. I was a gateway, a reassuring presence for individuals who often arrived in states of distress. This role made me acutely aware of the urgency of mental health support. I learned to be empathetic and nonjudgmental, qualities that were instrumental in my journey. Handling crisis calls was a pivotal part of my responsibilities. I became the first point of contact for those in dire need—individuals who might be grappling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing the depths of despair. This experience instilled in me the importance of staying calm under pressure and the criticality of active listening. It was about not just hearing their words but truly understanding their pain, ensuring they felt heard and cared for. My passion for the field and my dedication to making a difference did not go unnoticed. Through my persistence and unwavering commitment, I was promoted to the role of a call specialist. Here, I delved deeper into crisis intervention, honing my skills in managing high-stress situations with compassion and professionalism. I was the voice on the other end of the line that provided a lifeline to those in need. The journey didn't stop there. My dedication was rewarded with yet another promotion, this time to admissions coordinator. In this role, I present clinical assessments to psychiatrists, a task that requires a deep understanding of medical and psychiatric terminology, including the DSM V. This position further solidified my resolve to contribute meaningfully to the mental health field. My journey from receptionist to call specialist to admissions coordinator demonstrated more than just my professional development; it also demonstrated my steadfast dedication to mental health advocacy and my commitment to be a sympathetic confidant to people experiencing hardships. My educational journey has been a significant part of my quest to make a difference in the field of mental health. I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland Global Campus, which marked the initiation of my profound commitment to the study of the human mind. Presently, I am working towards a master's degree in counseling psychology at Bowie State University, setting the stage for what I envision as a transformative academic and professional journey. My aspirations don't stop at a master's degree. Ultimately, I am determined to earn a Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.), with a specific focus on child and adolescent therapy. My aspirations are driven by my firm conviction that building a solid foundation for a resilient future through early intervention and nurturing support is possible. Through my academic path, I intend to equip myself with the knowledge, skills, and insights to contribute significantly to child and adolescent therapy. I envision providing a safe space where young minds can explore their emotions, understand their struggles, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. My journey is not just about personal and professional growth; it's about making a lasting difference in the lives of those who need guidance and support. My commitment to mental health is not just a career choice; it's a calling. I aspire to be a source of support for individuals battling their internal struggles, whether it's anxiety, depression, or any mental health challenges. I firmly believe that everyone deserves a kind, understanding companion on their journey to recovery and resilience. In the face of the growing demand for qualified clinicians, I see myself as a vital contributor to addressing this crisis. My education, combined with my profound empathy and unwavering dedication, positions me to make a meaningful impact in the mental health field. The Darclei V. McGregor Memorial Scholarship carries profound significance as it honors a compassionate therapist who I had the privilege of working with on occasion. Darclei’ s legacy of kindness and clinical acumen left an indelible mark on the mental health community. This scholarship not only pays tribute to her remarkable life but also serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring mental health professionals. My goal is clear: I'm determined to be a source of support for those facing mental health challenges. With each step in my educational and professional journey, I'm positioning myself to make a tangible difference. The pressing demand for qualified clinicians is a call to action, and I'm ready to respond. I believe that change begins with individuals like me who have walked this path. I'm here to be a voice of hope and resilience, to be an advocate for those in crisis, and to contribute to the betterment of mental health in my community and beyond. Let's stand together to address the pressing need for compassionate and skilled clinicians, ensuring a brighter, more mentally healthy future for all.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Nov 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Dec 1, 2023.

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