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James Turner Second Chance Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Mar 28, 2023
Winners Announced
Apr 28, 2023
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school junior or senior
Has overcome drug abuse/addiction or behavioral problems

This scholarship honors James Turner, an Indiana native.

James was a gifted individual, loving son, and protective brother. He was a curious person who tried many things and excelled at those he was most passionate about. Unfortunately, as a teenager James developed and subsequently battled a long-term addiction to opioids, one that brought him down a path too painfully familiar for so many families today. His life was cut short tragically at the age of 32 following an overdose. Drug addition and its myriad effects are felt in every community and every state. It directly claims nearly 71,000 lives per year in the US alone, and its damage is felt in immeasurable ways at all levels of society. Having the necessary resources to fight addiction and make the most of educational opportunities can make a world of difference in the lives of young students.

While this scholarship aims to support students through financial assistance, it is also meant to signify to students facing similar battles that they aren't alone, and that there are people out there who want to see them succeed. Our mistakes say much less about us than how we respond to them. No failure is too big to overcome, except the one of giving up on yourself.

Any high school junior or senior in Indiana who is choosing to persevere, despite their own past behavioral or drug problems may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about the current goals for your future, the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far, and how you think going through that can help you move yourself to a better future. Keep in mind, this isn't a competition in suffering, and you don't need to share what isn't ready to be said. But we welcome your story and hope that sharing it can help remind you of something that helps you keep moving in the right direction.

Selection Criteria:
Published August 28, 2022
Essay Topic

Where do you want to be in 5 years? What has been the biggest personal challenge you've experienced on your journey so far, and how has it shaped who you are or how you respond to new problems?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jade Zhao
Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomington, IN
As a senior at Cathedral High School in Indiana, I am honored to have the opportunity to apply for this scholarship in honor of James Turner. I understand the pain and devastation that addiction can cause, not just for the individual but for their loved ones as well. I have been personally impacted by addiction in my own family and it has shaped my desire to pursue a career in the field of mental health and informatics. In five years, I envision myself having graduated from college with a degree in Psychology and beginning my career as a mental health professional. With my background in psychology, I will be able to understand the complexities of addiction and mental health issues, and how to best support those who are struggling. Additionally, I want to use my knowledge of technology to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health resources for individuals and families affected by addiction, suicide, and self-harm. My personal journey has not been an easy one. I have struggled with a range of mental health issues including an eating disorder, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety. It was a painful and difficult time in my life and I was scared to ask for help. I felt like I was alone in my struggles and didn't know where to turn. But I realized that it was important to take care of myself and to seek help when needed. Through therapy, medication, and the support of loved ones, I have been able to overcome those struggles and to focus on my future. I have learned that it is important to be kind to yourself and not to be ashamed of seeking help. I have also realized the importance of community and support in overcoming difficult obstacles. Going through this challenge has taught me the importance of self-care, self-compassion and the power of resilience. It has also taught me the importance of mental health resources and support systems, and the impact that technology can have on improving access to these resources. I am determined to use my experiences and education to make a positive impact in the field of mental health and informatics, and to help others who are struggling with addiction and mental health issues. In college, I plan to study Psychology and Informatics, taking courses related to mental health, addiction, and technology. I also plan to get involved in research and volunteer opportunities that will allow me to gain hands-on experience in the field. I am confident that with my passion, dedication, and hard work, I will be able to achieve my goals and make a difference in the lives of others affected by addiction and mental health issues. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to apply for this scholarship in honor of James Turner, and I am committed to using my education and experiences to make a positive impact in the field of mental health and informatics. Thank you for considering my application.
Owen Norton
Lakeland High SchoolOrland, IN
Picture this: you’re a paramedic who is soundly sleeping after a long day of patients and transfers. You deserve, no, you need this sleep, for you’ve worked a long day, and tomorrow is another 12-hour shift. In the other room is your 14-year-old son playing Europa Universalis IV. Suddenly, you're ripped from a state of deep sleep, awoken by pounding and unpleasant words. You roll onto your back while rolling your eyes. After a sigh and a glance at the clock, you yell, “What’s the problem this time?” That was a frequent occurrence in my home for many years. I had –and still occasionally struggle with– anger issues. They have led to detention, referrals, being labeled a “cry baby” by peers, embarrassed relatives, and they have often hindered my learning ability. I had long recognized that I had a problem, but dealing with it was another story. Moreover, at times I didn’t want to shout in anger or punch my desk, yet I heard my voice echoing off the walls, and my fist ached with pain. Nonetheless, I have greatly improved -particularly in the last few years. While I still have occasional outbursts, I believe I am over the hump. Now I sometimes find myself the one watching a tantrum instead of being watched. Having had over-the-top reactions to the most minute of things for years also means I have had years to develop the skills to prevent, or bring myself down from, an outburst. When facing a challenge, or when things go wrong, I use my learned techniques to stay calm and think clearly. I have discovered such skills are lacking in many children and adults. That differentiates me from them: I try to approach problems with a calm mind and maintain that mindset. Furthermore, when I feel my anger rising, I have learned to walk away and come back later. While I may have managed to conquer a problem and change a behavior, I have an interest that has never changed: history. During one of the long winters in Indiana, I was surfing YouTube when I stumbled upon a video about history. It was far more interesting than anything else I may have otherwise watched. Since then, I have spent much of my free time watching history documentaries, reading non-fiction, exploring museums, or talking about what I have learned. My appetite for knowledge of the past is insatiable, and I greatly enjoy every minute. Moreover, spreading the knowledge to others is equally -if not more- enjoyable. Logically, a career in history is the path I have chosen. For this field, higher education is a necessity. Therefore, in 5 years, I hope to have achieved a bachelor’s degree and be completing a doctoral degree. Unfortunately, many years in higher education costs a lot of money. There is also a lot of potential for waste were I to derail my progress with an angry outburst. But, I, fortunately, work every day to completely eliminate what was once a major issue and now aim to achieve success despite my past problems. Today, I ask for help from the James Andrew Turner Second Chance Scholarship to reach my goal.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 28, 2023. Winners will be announced on Apr 28, 2023.

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