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Thomas Tatum Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Dec 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Dec 29, 2022
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student
Has battled mental illness or has family who lost their mental health battle

Thomas Tatum was a beloved husband and father who passed away in May after losing his battle with mental illness. 

After losing his battle with mental illness, Thomas left behind his wife and three young daughters. Thomas had a giving spirit and spent his college years working on fundraisers and getting his fraternity brothers to go above and beyond to help others.

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Thomas Tatum by supporting students who have battled mental illness or lost a family member due to mental illness.

Any high school or undergraduate student in Alabama who has battled mental illness or has a family member who lost their battle with mental illness may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us how mental illness has affected you or your family.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published July 27, 2022
Essay Topic

How has mental illness affected you or your family?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Mortimer Jordan High SchoolCounty Line, AL
Mental illness has affected me in a lot of positive and negative ways. I was diagnosed with multiple mental disorders at age 13 and have since struggled with it. From my anxiety to depression, I have had some days simply getting out of bed, others trying to keep myself alive and well. So, I found a creative outlet through poetry. I've been a poet for as long as I can remember, and it has really helped me to process and get through tough times. However when I was 14 years old, I couldn't write. I was out of school due to chronic anxiety getting the best of me and my ex-girlfriend, who I have since made up with, breaking up with me. I am still trying to get over the pangs I feel every once in a while and guilt I feel daily. Often I find myself wanting to just give up, but have made a pact with myself that I cannot attempt to hurt myself as long as there is someone in the house with me. I am in a save environment thanks to my mother, therapists, and friends. In 2018, I had an altercation with my mom resulting in my hospitalization at Hillcrest Behavioral Hospital. My second hospitalization. I was in there for one month, and it caused a large amount of trauma due to homophobia, transphobia from where I was transgender at the time, and my claustrophobia. The rooms were very small, everyone was either bullying or being bullied including the staff, and I just could not wait to get out. Since that altercation, I have changed for the better. I've become active in my school community, where I'm an ex-ed teacher's aid but still struggle at times to simply keep myself at school. All thanks to my mental illness and the illness in my family, I can better understand what it's like to be different. I now wear my mistakes as badges of honor, humility, and acceptance. So, in conclusion; Mental illness has affected me in a sense that I now know where art comes from. It comes from pain, bruising, and lots of creativity. I know now; I am brave, bruised, who I'm meant to be. Mental illness has caused me a lot of grief that shall not be spoken, and a pain that goes on, But I will be okay, because I believe I will be.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Dec 29, 2022.

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