Viaje de Esperanza Scholarship

Funded by
Daniel and Marisa Wandeler
Learn more about the Donor
$27,000
2 winners, $13,500 each
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
3
Application Deadline
Jul 15, 2021
Winners Announced
Jul 31, 2021
Education Level
Graduate
1
Contribution
Eligibility Requirements
Career of interest:
Mental health services for the Latinx community
City of Study:
El Paso, TX, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Denver, Colorado
Ethnicity:
Identify as Latinx
Career of interest:
City of Study:
Ethnicity:
Mental health services for the Latinx community
El Paso, TX, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Denver, Colorado
Identify as Latinx

Everyone should have access to mental health services, no matter their identity, background, or economic status. 

Unfortunately, many Latinx communities in the US go without these services. It’s estimated that of the roughly sixty million Latinx/Hispanic people living in the US, around 10 million have reported having a mental illness in the past year. 

As well as language barriers, it’s also reported that 18% of those sixty million live without health insurance, disallowing them from receiving the assistance they need to appropriately address mental health issues.

To incentivize mental health professionals and to push for mental health services for people in the Latinx community, the Viaje de Esperanza Scholarship will be awarded to one Latinx student who is interested in pursuing or is currently pursuing a degree that will lead them to a profession dealing with mental health in the Latinx community. 

All graduate students currently studying in El Paso, TX, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Denver, Colorado who are pursuing a degree that will lead them in the mental health service field are eligible to apply.

To apply, please explain your desire and motivation to pursue a mental health career to actively serve the Latinx community.

Mental Health
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Latinx, Ambition, Purpose
$27,000
2 winners, $13,500 each
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
3
Application Deadline
Jul 15, 2021
Winners Announced
Jul 31, 2021
Education Level
Graduate
1
Contribution
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

In 500 words or less, explain your desire and motivation to pursue a mental health career to serve the Latinx community.



0–500 words

Winning Applications

Joanna Luna
Metropolitan State University of DenverAurora, CO
Ana Ortiz-Mejias
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColorado Springs, CO
The words, “Gracias a Dios,” poured from his mouth and onto the cold, stainless steel table between us. “Thank God,” he repeated, that Border Patrol found him on the eighteenth day lost in the unforgiving Arizona desert. Four years ago, I had the life-changing opportunity to listen to Sergio’s story, an immigrant who fled from his home country, Guatemala, to the United States after being attacked by the same gang members that killed his father. This man had been detained and separated from his family for seven months at this point. The dangerous journey to the US was the only option for a livable income and more importantly, safety for him, his wife, and their five-year-old son. Sergio shared with me the immense difficulties of fleeing and trying to seek asylum in the US as well as the profound distress this experience had on him and his family. Heartbreakingly, when Sergio needed help the most, he was denied legal, mental, and physical assistance due to the dehumanizing process of being treated as an “illegal alien” in a country that criminalizes humans based on the social construction that is citizenship. Unfortunately, Sergio’s story is not unique, and the trauma does not stop at the border. As a provider in the mental health world, I have worked with various Latinx immigrant families who are met with more violence and discrimination than safety. I see my people struggle from institutional inequities which deny us access to support and resources like culturally responsive mental health assistance. The Latinx community has suffered enough due to the ever-present inundation of exclusion, trauma, racism, genocide, and other forms of violence. As a first-generation, biracial woman, I too experience and witness the persistent feelings of inadequacy that flood my community. I live in the liminal space between being White and Latina, but not enough for either group. I know the feeling of being “less than” because I don’t speak Spanish fluently or because I don’t look like a “typical” Latina. At times, my identity has felt like it belongs to others rather than myself. The experience of non-belonging and pain haunts us. We need help. We need people who are sensitive to our experiences to help us heal. I want to create community and be a safe space for Latinxs; to empower people to be proud of and reclaim their Latinx identity and culture; to serve those who walk this earth now as well as past generations who live within us. With the additional training, mentorship, and certification that a Master’s in Social Work provides as well as experience and honed ancestral wisdom and intuition, I can help people like Sergio, his family, and myself process the traumas of living as a Latinx body in the US through clinical, trauma-responsive work. By allowing me to provide such help, this scholarship would go towards my community, many of whom are in desperate need of mental health and social services. This scholarship is for us.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jul 31, 2021.

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