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Mahlagha Jaberi Mental Health Awareness for Immigrants Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Jul 15, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
First or second-generation immigrants in any field of study

Immigrants have been a vital part of the United States since the country's inception.

People immigrate to the United States for a variety of reasons, including the search for economic opportunity, novel experiences, escape from unsafe conditions, and more.

And while many immigrants have unlocked opportunities and built better lives in the United States, this process often comes with a cost. Immigrants have to navigate anti-immigration policies, unequal access to opportunity, and cultural hostility and resentment. Collectively, this can take a big mental toll.

The Mahlagha Jaberi Mental Health Awareness for Immigrants Scholarship exists to support more awareness about the mental health of immigrants in the United States. The scholarship will support one immigrant who has faced or is currently facing challenges with mental health.

All first or second-generation immigrants in any field of study are eligible to apply for this scholarship. To apply, you will have the opportunity to write about your experience as an immigrant, challenges with mental health, and what you hope to achieve in the future.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Immigrant, Ambition, Reflection, Drive, Impact
Published February 26, 2021
Essay Topic

Tell us about your experience as an immigrant, any mental health challenges you've faced, and what you hope to achieve in the future.

400–500 words

Winning Application

Tarushi Tripathi
Lasa H SAustin, TX
“Aren't you supposed to be smart since you're Indian?" my classmate scornfully asked as he handed me a sheet of his Algebra 2 homework. Unfortunately, I did not fit into this stereotype as well as I used to. As I approached my teenage years, the water droplets of depression and the discomfort from traumas condensed a grey cloud over my head, and I slowly began to slip away into the depths of reality. However, when I was younger, my parents praised me for winning chess against my older sister or remaining undefeated against my relatives when playing Scrabble. But as I grew older, my intelligence was no longer measured from the aptitude of my childhood and was instead measured by six-week averages and PSAT scores. So, as more expectations began to flare upon me, my strengths turned into prerequisites, and my ambitions turned into a competition. I was left behind, with minimal motivation waking up at 5:30 am every morning to continue the dreadful cycle of an ex-gifted student. A year ago, I told my mom about having depression, a disorder characterized by periods of feeling more hopeless than my typical temperament. Her words of "no such thing existed in our family" and “focus on your studies” extinguished every sun ray of hope that shone inside me. The conversation lasted for merely ten minutes and ended with my vision blurred from tears and a dazed look on her face. Though, it was no surprise. The cultural roots implanted from a small town in India did not align with the conception of mental health in America. So, to avoid any discussion about therapy, my mom hopelessly covered my self-harm scars with Boroplus, an Indian ointment, and handed me a bottle of Brahmi, which was herbal medicine for my deteriorating memory. Occasionally, I would try to continue the conversation, but she would quickly change the topic. In my darkest moments, I wished for an end to my existence and felt ostracized, misunderstood, and alone. Often, I suppressed my emotions because my parents told me “there was nothing in my life to be sad about." Though I admitted I had the privilege to pursue a top-tier education in America, I felt an insurmountable amount of invalidation towards my mental health. Soon, I realized the absence of mental health education geared to the population in poverty-stricken nations like India. This realization inspired me to create change. I have chosen to use my experiences with mental health and use it as a driving force to educate others and bring awareness towards the subject, especially in developing countries. As I continue my academic career, I hope to break the stigma centered around mental disorders such as depression and pursue a career in the medical field that will further allow me to shift the phase of mental health.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jul 15, 2021.

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