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Katelynn Berry Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
1st winner$2,263
2nd winner$2,262
Application Deadline
May 20, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 20, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Montana or Minnesota
Mental illness diagnosis (students with schizophrenia preferred)

Katelynn Berry passed away too soon at the age of twenty-six after a tough battle with mental illness.

Mental illnesses and prescribed medication affect a student’s energy level, concentration, and can hamper their ability to remain gainfully employed while attending school. A mental health disorder, one that affects a person’s psychological well-being is hard enough to deal with for many on a daily basis outside of school. However, having a mental disorder while attending college and trying to remain employed to support your education can sometimes be an overwhelming experience.

This scholarship aims to honor Katelynn Berry’s life by spreading awareness about the serious threat posed by mental illnesses and its impact on one’s ability to attend college and obtain a degree.

Any high school senior in Montana or Minnesota who has been diagnosed with a mental illness may apply for this scholarship, but applicants with schizophrenia are preferred. One winner will be selected from Montana and one from Minnesota.

To apply, tell us how mental illness has affected you, your family, and your education goals as well as what steps you’ve taken to work on living with your mental illness.  

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 19, 2022
Essay Topic

How has your mental illness impacted you, your family, and your educational aspirations?  What initiative have you taken to work on positively living with your mental illness?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Evan Kalligher
Fairview High SchoolFairview, MT
Imagine your sitting at your desk listening to your teacher. Everything is going perfectly fine until suddenly, you start to take deep breaths and start to panic. For what? Not even you can seem to figure that out. You stop and take a few deep breaths and begin to calm down. Now, you can pay attention. This is what it's like to live with anxiety, at least when you have it as bad as I do. There are times when I begin to panic and have an anxiety attack for no reason at all. It has made school difficult in the areas of paying attention and associating myself with my peers. With anxiety, you tend to disassociate with those around you and become quite introverted. I've managed to overcome that obstacle and learn to live with it. I started to take medications last summer in order to help with that. It has been very hard to put myself out there and meet new people. Even giving a speech in front of those I grew up with is difficult. Family-wise, however, is much more different. It's almost like I am a completely different person. Anxiety hasn't affected my family life and I hope that it never will. Alongside my anxiety, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Most know what this is and how it can affect people, but some don't. Bipolar disorder is when someone's mood can change in the blink of an eye. One moment they are happy as can be and the next, they're sad about nothing and everything. This, coupled with my anxiety, has made it extremely difficult to make friends throughout school. Those friends I have found are some of the greatest friends one could ask for. These two mental illnesses make for a very dangerous combination. I have learned to work through them and push myself farther than I ever thought I would have thought. I have overcome these obstacles and am working and improving my well-being. I have learned to not take everything said to me to heart and to ignore those who try to put you down. With these instructions imprinted in my brain, I hope to lessen the impact these two mental illnesses have on my life.
Colby Jelliff
Bemidji State UniversityEast Grand Forks, MN
I have a long history of anxiety and throughout the years I have learned to deal. Anxiety is not new to my family so adapting was not a hardship especially with a supportive family. What I had to learn was to let go and learn I cannot control everything. This has always been an issue for me but one of the lasting memories of my panic attack was over collage tuition. I have always known I was going to be okay. My mom was able to make enough for the both of us to be comfortable. As I got older I got to see her anxiety come out over money and the cost of things and relishing I wouldn’t be able to afford college was hard. I had a major panic attack that I had not had for 3 years. Suddenly everything was out of control. Plans and dreams seemed out of touch and I lost so much confidence. We had to go to my grandparents and have them explain to me that there are some funds set aside for me by them to just help with the anxiety. I didn’t want to cause my family any hardship. My head space wasn’t helping. I am also the type who doesn’t want people to see them any other way but okay. If I cry it is not in front of anyone even my mom who I am the closest too. Time and time again my family has asked me too open up just a little and the only thing I feel comfortable opening up with is anger. What has made me angry today? My family now expects it. Who upset Colby today? It doesn’t make me feel any better but I have learned to open up a bit more than that, however it’s slow going. It due to these reasons I am so excited to go to college. That just brings back the anxiety of taking advantage of my family. I feel worse again. The only way I have learned to cope is by making myself cry sometimes to feel better. I lay in bed and watch a video or listen to a song that gets my eyes watery and I think of the stress and let the water world flow. This more than likely not a great coping mechanism but it is non harmful to myself or others and makes me feel better, lighter afterwards. I don’t believe my family and I have ever learned to deal with my mental illness or there’s but we have all learned to cope in our own ways and except each other for who we are. Try to leave each other be on bad days, and listen and support on the days where it’s needed.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 20, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 20, 2022.

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