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Shine Your Light College Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Mar 2, 2022
Winners Announced
Apr 5, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be an undergraduate or graduate student
Career of Interest:
Must be interested in a career in mental health

Struggling with mental health is normal and nothing to be ashamed about. Unfortunately, many people still face judgment due to their mental illnesses.

The stigma around mental illness is one reason why more than 57% of adults with mental illnesses do not receive treatment. In order to encourage people to seek treatment for their mental illnesses, there must be less judgment around mental health struggles.

This scholarship aims to support undergraduate and graduate school students who are pursuing careers around mental health and are committed to fighting the stigma around mental illness.  

Any undergraduate or graduate student who is interested in a career in mental health may apply for this scholarship. First-generation college students and students from historically excluded backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, tell us about yourself and how you plan to benefit the world through your career in mental health.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Graduate School ScholarshipsUndergraduate ScholarshipsMental Health Scholarships
Scholarships for Undergraduate Women
Scholarships for College Students
Essay Scholarships
Published October 17, 2021
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your mental health career.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Alisha Jefferies
University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCincinnati, OH
Hello, I am Alisha Jefferies of Ohio. I am a mother of two boys, a grandmother of 4, and a wife of 30yrs. I was born and raised in Ohio, but I have spent several stints residing in California; both northern and southern. I prefer Southern California most, as that is where my love for psychology and the mental health profession took root in my spirit of wanting to help others with mental health incapacities. I am the third eldest of seven children in a blended family. I did not grow up with my biological mother, as my father remarried. I gained a stepmother and step-sister, four months my senior. I have 2 biological sisters and 3 half-siblings. Of my 2 biological sisters, only me and my older sister transitioned to live with my father and his new family, while our youngest sister continued living with our mother. I can't say how I would have turned out if I continued living with my biological mother, but I often wonder if my life outcome would have been different. I wonder if I would have been more or less successful. It was hard growing up without my mother and even harder when I was not able to visit her. I grew up knowing it was difficult for my older sister to adjust to our blended family, as she remained quiet, reserved, and very intelligent in her academic studies. I guess I immersed myself in sports throughout primary/secondary school (gymnastics and tumbling were my favorite) as opposed to dwelling on why I could not grow up with, or visit my mother. The relationship I have now with my biological mother is absolutely wonderful, but I cannot say the same for my older sister. My sister, and the experience I gleaned while working in the psychology department at a very prominent hospital in Ca., are the very true reason I have gained a passion for mental health. My older sister did not fare so well in life, and what started as a mild (somewhat expected) case of postpartum depression after her second and third child, is currently full-blown psychosis. How I most want to make a positive impact with my knowledge, passion, and vigor for mental health, is to advocate in removing the biased opinions regarding mental health; namely in the African-American and underserved populations of our American culture. My goal is to complete my undergraduate studies, earn a Master's degree, and work in clinical psychology. I would be most proud to work with adoption/foster agencies in helping adolescents overcome life barriers and grow into healthy, productive, and successful men and women. I am of the belief that it is never too late to pursue your heart's desires. I also believe God has placed the "gifts of help" within me to be a blessing to others. I further, firmly believe that as long as I have life, I have to live it to the fullest and to the best of my abilities. I have not yet finished my academic studies, and at times, have struggled along the way. I am extremely proud for not givng up on myself, or my dreams of success in the mental health profession. I cannot wait to graduate and show the physicians/clinicians what they have shown me in my seven-year employment as their medical secretary, has made a lasting impression on me. It's the same professional impression I too want to leave for mental health achievers coming after me. Many thanks for the nomination and consideration of the Shine Your Light College Scholarship.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 2, 2022. Winners will be announced on Apr 5, 2022.

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