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Fishers of Men-tal Health Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Tatyana Boerner
2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Oct 16, 2024
Winners Announced
Nov 16, 2024
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Study:
Mental health
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate student
Religious and/or spiritual

Mental health issues are among the most common health issues affecting individuals and families today. 

Mental illness and addiction are each challenging battles on their own, but they often go hand in hand. Roughly 50% of individuals with severe mental disorders are also affected by substance abuse. To help people through their illnesses or addiction, it’s critical that the next generation of mental health professionals are educated and empowered to help individuals in their battle to overcome their illnesses.

The Fishers of Men-tal Health Scholarship aims to honor the memory of Dmitriy Kapelkin, a beloved brother, son and friend who loved fishing, Jesus and helping those in need. 

Any religious or spiritual undergraduate or graduate student who is planning on pursuing a career in the mental health field may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us how your experience with mental health has impacted your beliefs, relationships, and career goals.

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published July 10, 2024
Essay Topic

How has your experience with mental health influenced your beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations?

1000–1100 words

Winning Application

Stephen Porter
Wilmington UniversityCOLORA, MD
I struggled for over a decade with poor mental health which led to substance abuse issues and physical health problems. Specifically, I struggled with depression and anxiety which took all of the joy and happiness out of my life. Many days I struggled to get out of bed or perform basic self-care tasks such as showering and brushing my teeth. I have been hospitalized multiple times, sought therapy and counseling, and tried many medications to help with my poor mental health before I was successful in finding what works for me. My struggles with mental health ultimately gave me a new lease on life and a perspective that I would not trade for anything. Today, I am grateful for the life that I have and for all of my blessings. I cherish the relationships I have with family and friends and have empathy for people who are struggling. Once, I was hopeless and full of despair to the point of being suicidal, but today I am full of hope, gratitude and a desire to be of service to others. I am in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction, and I attend twelve-step recovery meetings regularly to try to help others. I also am an active member of my church where I volunteer in our food pantry and outreach program. I read the Bible, pray and meditate, and try to continue growing in my relationship with God every day. With God all things are possible. In the darkness of mental illness and substance abuse, I often isolated and shut the world out, but now fellowship with others is a big part of my life. I have built a strong network of people who I can relate to and talk to when I need support. I know that I never have to fight my battles alone. My struggle with mental illness has taught me much about what is truly important in life. I am not very concerned with money, material possessions, status, fame, fortune, etc. I know that these things are not the source of happiness. This is evident when we see rich and famous people who seemingly have everything they could ever want commit suicide. Without mental health, nothing else is worthwhile. I try to have compassion and understanding for others and be of service whenever possible, always putting my trust in God first and foremost. This way of life fills me with more contentment and peace than any amount of material wealth could. I know from experience that many individuals with mental illness suffer in silence either due to the stigma associated with mental illness or the hopelessness that comes with it. I think it is very important for people to feel comfortable and not ashamed of talking about their mental health struggles. I am attending Wilmington University to pursue a degree in Psychology followed by a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I believe individuals who struggle with mental illness and/or poor mental health deserve to have access to affordable and timely counseling. I plan to become a licensed mental health counselor to help make that a reality in my community.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Oct 16, 2024. Winners will be announced on Nov 16, 2024.