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Viaje de Esperanza Scholarship

Funded by
1st winner$13,904
2nd winner$13,898
3rd winner$13,898
Application Deadline
Jul 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Aug 1, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Career of interest:
Mental health services for the Latinx community
City of Study:
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.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Latinx, Ambition, Purpose
Published March 4, 2022
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

Janet Rojas
University of DenverEstes Park, CO
Growing up in a Latinx community I have learned many things regarding mental health, but the two most prominent being that mental health resources can be difficult to obtain as well as difficult to accept. To start, the availability of mental health services is limited not only by language barriers but by affordability. Language barriers prevent individuals from being able to communicate their needs as well as receive them. This is further deterred by the cost of mental health services, even when covered by health insurance the high prices of counseling may leave individuals wondering if the service is necessary. Secondly, cultural backgrounds can heavily impact an individuals willingness to pursue mental health services. Varying cultures view mental health differently, and this can impact an individuals decision when deciding to accept or decline mental health services. I consider both of these to be serious barriers regarding access and acceptance to mental health services. Through my career and education I plan on further breaking down these barriers. To achieve this I intend on becoming a licensed counselor after receiving a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Along with this, I will gain exposure through my education to varying cultures to better understand the differences between individual cultures and how to be of best support to culturally different individuals and their health journey. I also aim to continuously advocate the benefits of mental health services along with becoming a well educated resource for others on where and how to receive these resources. For example, educating others on their community resources. Many individuals are unaware of the low cost counseling services offered at universities which are open to the community. As well some universities offering 2 sessions of free counseling to each student per semester. With this, I am open to share my personal background as a Latina to connect with others of similar backgrounds and give new light to the benefits of tackling mental health issues. What further motivates me to tackle this challenge is my own personal experience within mental health services. I grew up in a Mexican household, and from a young age I was taught that ones problems are theirs alone, and to remain within the family. Through the years of my adolescence I was consistently reminded that seeking counseling/therapy was a sign of weakness. This perception was then directed towards myself when I chose to seek counseling services for my own anxiety, which had become unmanageable and unbearable. Due to this I have continuously practiced challenging and deterring the negative stigma that has circulated mental health services. I consider myself a strong advocate for counseling services and continue to share with others my positive experience within therapy to which I believe to be an essential part of rebuilding my own mental health well-being. I hope that throughout my education and my future career as a clinical counselor I can become a stronger advocate for mental health services within my own cultural community as well as others.
Ana Ortiz-Mejias
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColorado Springs, CO
Angela Martinez Lopez
University of Northern ColoradoAurora, CO
Feelings of shame cause people to use a physical ailment over admitting to a mental health condition that disrupts daily functioning. Stigma impedes an understanding of symptoms, reduces help-seeking intention, and more importantly, denies hope for treatment. Exploring the negative effects of public stigma and self-stigma and engaging in group discussions could help raise a new generation of mental health clinicians and school counselors who will advocate for services that remove stigma and discrimination, as well as promote the humane treatment of people struggling with mental health illnesses and substance use disorders. I aspire to contribute to the Hispanic community in our public schools as a qualified school counselor, and I intend to design a comprehensive school counseling program that advocates for systematic change to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. Ultimately, my most important responsibility will be to use protective factors including promoting high academic achievement, positive self-image, career development, and positive peer/social interactions to lessen the risks of substance use and provide students with coping skills to manage distress. My goal is also to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and work closely with the Hispanic community and take advantage of my bilingual and bicultural background to serve immigrant or first-generation populations.
Joanna Luna
Metropolitan State University of DenverAurora, CO
Ana Ortiz-Mejias
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColorado Springs, CO


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Aug 1, 2022.

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