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Carla Helena


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As I have navigated the high school experience, I have developed passion in the mental health field. Which has been based off of personal experience and also witnessing how my family and friends were and are affected. I am going to be the first generation that is furthering their education outside of high school. I plan on double majoring in Psychology(probably developmental and or clinical) on a Pre-Med track and a major in Spanish and maybe some other minor as well. I plan on going to Loyola Maryland University in the fall of 2023!! I apply to these scholarships in order to lift the financial burden off of my mother and our family. Im grateful to have been selected as 1x Winner and 5x Finalist. I will continue to keep pushing more applications Thank you for taking the time to read my writing.


Loyola University Maryland

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
    • Medicine
  • Minors:
    • Second Language Learning
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
  • GPA:

Laurel High

High School
2021 - 2023
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:


    • Customer Service Associate

      2022 – Present2 years



    2022 – 20231 year


    • Im Team Manager


    • college search



    • Art 1

      2020 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Girls Lacrosse (Laurel High School) — Manager
      2022 – 2022
    • Advocacy

      Sga(student government association) — Secretay
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Queenstown Community Center — Volunteer
      2017 – 2017

    Future Interests





    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    I identify as the first generation to be pursuing education higher than the high school level. My family originates from the Dominican Republic as well and came to the United States in hopes of pushing their future generations further. This is why I proudly say that I am Afro-Latina because without the help of my mom and all that she has done for me and my sister, I wouldn't be where I am now. Due to the different mindsets in generations, several of my family members including myself have faced their struggles with mental illness and disorders. As I grew up I was always self-conscious of the way that I looked. Being at such a young age battling an ED while most of the rest of the kids around me just got to be a kid, had such a destruction to my mental health. As time went on I have been able to heal and continue to work on better habits that will allow me to not be so in my head. As I started college in the fall, I realized how far I have come to be as a continuously growing person. It has only been a couple of months but I have learned so much about myself and who I want to be. More specifically more on the impact that I want to make for myself, my family, and the communities that I have lived in throughout my life. When it comes to my family the majority of them (usually the older members) have not been able to seek the proper health because of any restraints that may be taking place. Whether this limitation includes not having access to the care, not knowing enough to trust the care, or for many citizens who may only speak Spanish there may be a language barrier that stops them from being able to receive help. I believe that it is extremely important for this care to be accessible because it not only will benefit the person but also the future generations. Especially if the mental illness/disorder may be genetic. Not knowing how to cope will have a big harm on the examples being shown to the younger individuals around them. This is something that I have personally seen in my family. This is one of the most important things that I want to do and change as I take my route to becoming a future bilingual psychiatrist. I want many of those in my community to feel heard and seen and not have to worry about the language being spoken. It is important to break all of the generational curses now that we can do so. I also feel like it is important to connect with someone through language because I may be able to understand more where they are coming from because of their similar background. As of right now, the percentage of Latino psychiatrists in the field is about 10% while the percentage of Black psychiatrists is about 5%. Being able to fall under both underrepresented categories pushes me more and more every day. I plan on being very resilient to reach my end goal. I want to be an example to the younger generations that whatever they want to be is possible. Although it will be a long time of studying and preparation, it will all be worth it.
    Ruebenna Greenfield Flack Scholarship
    My family originates from the Dominican Republic. Like many other families, mine sought the "American Dream" in hopes of pushing further generations further. I grew up with a single mother and my younger sister so I have always had the mindset of being a strong independent woman. I have seen how hard my mother has worked for my sister and me to have an easier way of living. A life where my biggest concern is receiving our education. There are times when it fills me with sadness to know that my mother took the route that would push her family forward instead of the route that she wanted to take when she was around my age. As I'm starting my first year as a first-generation college student it has been a really big change. Before getting on campus I was very excited for the next opportunities and experiences that were to come. Dont get me wrong I'm still excited and it's only been 2 weeks so there's still plenty of time to get to know the "charm city". I honestly began to forget that I was first generation and had no idea what I was walking into. It wasn't until I stepped foot on campus that I had a bigger reality about the changes that would come these next couple of months and years. Especially knowing that I would be attending a PWI (predominantly white institution) when I have been used to going to schools that have a variety of diversity all of my life. I consider myself to be very resilient so I believe that it is only a matter of time before I get used to this new way of life away from home and making more decisions on my own without having guidance with me most of the time. I plan on studying Psychology and minoring in Spanish and hopefully also social work in hopes of helping others with their mental health. In the next couple of years, I see myself working my way into becoming a Psychiatrist. I strongly believe that this is a field that is becoming larger as the days go by and I plan on being part of the minorities that make a big impact in the field. I want to positively impact other minorities into seeking help from psychologists or psychiatrists regardless of the negative stigmas of getting mental health help. I would also like to remove barriers from the Spanish-speaking community that may not seek help due to language differences.
    Kim Moon Bae Underrepresented Students Scholarship
    Although cultures may have many different points of view and ways in which we find solutions to our problems. At the end of the day, we all have the same goal, which is looking for success. Whether that success is financial, a home or even a mental or physical success. Growing up with a single mother, I have always been shown that I can tackle any problems thrown my way. On the contrary to my mother, I have picked up that it is okay to ask for help when it is needed. I identify myself as Afro-Latina. This means I am a black Latina, from the Dominican Republic. Being born here as a first-generation has made my experience different than other generations navigating the United States. Because of this, I never fit into a certain category when it came to how I wanted to identify myself. Trying to connect to other Latinas can be a struggle because of the Colorist mindset some hold which at some point in time also included some of my family members. Hearing comments about my hair and skin color, and bash me for avoiding straightening my hair and saying "It would look better if you did "something" to it." This has always been ignorant because taking care of your natural takes hard work and time regardless of the curl pattern, from adding the right products to doing protective hairstyles. When in reality learning to love your hair is another form of self-love and acceptance. It can also be hard to connect with others on a deeper level due to my social anxiety and also trying to understand myself better. I don't have people around me to guide me on how to love myself, feel confident in my skin color, or teach me how to take care of my hair. Although the pandemic was rough I was able to learn a lot about myself and where exactly I pictured myself helping others and genuinely in a happy workplace. I was able to get back on track with where I wanted to be in life. I was able to continue to strive in school and challenge myself in any way possible. I've had a clear goal to become a future Psychiatrist, which is why I plan on majoring in Psychology, Pre Med with a double major in Spanish to also help other Latinos who may seek this mental health guidance. Especially because I know how hard it can be to want something but feel limited. The last thing I want is for someone to worry about this due to their native tongue. I also want to work with others to heal the generational traumas that may be rooted deep in our culture. While time continues to pass I have worked more on my communication and tried my best to let it be known where I wanted to be. Regardless of the battles thrown my way, I plan on succeeding and overcoming them. This scholarship will allow me to reduce the financial burden on my mother for me to continue to strive and eventually give back to her and to the communities that need help as well for our future generations to do great things.
    Sola Family Scholarship
    Like many Afro-Latinx families in the United States, mine came from the Dominican Republic seeking the “American Dream”. Sometimes I question what exactly “The American Dream” is considering everything that goes on in this country. Some seek wealth, wisdom, or safety for their families; however, I realize that the most sought-after goal is “success”. Sometimes I laugh at myself when I consider what success looks like. Is success simply passing my finals or is it everything my mother accomplished when I think about the sacrifices made. Then I remembered that the whole point was for me to not have a hard time getting to where I am now. Regardless of the size of my success, I can accomplish my goals with the support of my family. This is something I carry with me in everything I do. Especially when taking actions that lead to another big chapter in my life. The day my mom successfully received citizenship always continues to inspire and motivate me! Although I already have my citizenship, It felt like a great amount of weight was taken off my back. No more worrying about what could happen that is out of my control when it comes to the status of my family. I don't think I've seen anyone as devoted to achieving their end goal as much as she was. Whether it was waking up every Saturday morning to attend classes, trying to remember facts in a language that’s not her native tongue, or raising both of her daughters alone. While helping my mother study for citizenship, I was amazed at all these historical facts I had no knowledge or concept of. What surprised me most was that those who want citizenship had to learn all of them. All this for the “American Dream”? Being born in the United States granted me an automatic ticket to this dream. Having the opportunity to strive and work towards my goals causes them to be greater and greater each day. My mother is the strongest women I know and I plan to work towards higher education not only for myself but also for her in order for me to give back for all the hard work shes done. There are times where Im filled with sadness to know that my mothers dream was to become a lawyer but as she moved to this country she took on the job that she could because seeking higher education was harder for her than it was for me.
    Mind, Body, & Soul Scholarship
    As I wrap up my summer and focus on the future of having to go to college in a month I tend to try to mainly focus on what excites me. I think about the fun experiences ill have, the friendships ill make and the internships and first hand work that will be done with my career path. I also of course like to think about the dorm experience. More specifically how I would decorate it to my best ability in order for it to feel cozy and to avoid feeling homesick often. If we’re being honest its so much easier to focus on the good that will come instead of the anxiety of starting over once again. I constantly hear from current college students that its very important to stay true to yourself and that the right friendships will come. With this being said , like (hopefully)many other incoming freshman I worry about the friendship part of the whole experience. Having to start this independent way of living without my mom and sister by my side most the time is also a really bog shift in life. This could also include the friendships I’ve made over the years that are also going to start moving into their different paths. My biggest focus of all is self care. I strongly believe that practicing self care will allow me to have a healthy mind,body and soul throughout the experience. Its important to make sure that I’m in a good place where I can receive benefits coming my way and also mentally be prepared for the challenges that may come. I tend to focus on what I disliked or simply don’t want to repeat again from my high school experience. I feel like alot of self reflection has been done these past two months on how I can max out my college experience for all the growth I will be doing and help others around me also grow and excel. As of right now my biggest concern is paying for college and writing these scholarships has really helped. Although I obviously haven’t won all of them writing each piece has allowed me to learn more about myself. Ive also had more of a peace of mind knowing that Im also putting in the work to help out my family. With this being said, I plan on trying my hardest to journal my experiences or feelings whenever I get that chance because self reflection will definitely help me as time passes.
    Corrick Family First-Gen Scholarship
    Since a very young age, I always had my mind set on wanting to help others. I never really knew on which career path I would land so I always bounced between lawyer, judge, and social worker. I even had a period in life when I wanted to be a firefighter. As the days pass now, my aspirations grow greater than the day before on where I see myself in the future. Like many, the switch from in-person to online learning was very rough. As time went on I lost my love for school and to learn in general. It became difficult to even find the motivation to go to class. Everything just felt like an option which is horrible to say because I know that middle school and current me have our jaws dropped from hearing this. I realized that my mental health was slowly decreasing and I was in a horrible mental state. Not being able to have actual contact with a person outside of the family members in my home, which was only my younger sister and my mother, and an even lower chance to get the actual help that I needed. As I healed and started adapting to the new chapter and change of the world I realized my passion in the mental health field. Although the pandemic was rough I was able to learn where exactly I pictured myself helping others and genuinely in a happy workplace. After learning and understanding more about myself I was able to get back on track with where I wanted to be in life. I was able to continue to strive in school and challenge myself in any way possible. I've had a clear goal to become a future Psychiatrist, which is why I plan on majoring in Psychology, Pre Med with a minor in Spanish to also help other Latinos who may seek this mental health guidance. Especially because I know how hard it can be to want something but feel limited. The last thing I want is for someone to worry about this due to their native tongue. I also want to work with others to heal the generational traumas that may be rooted deep in our culture. As we returned to school in a slightly back-to-normal way, I worked more on my communication and tried my best to let it be known where I wanted to be. Regardless of the battles thrown my way, I plan on succeeding and overcoming them.
    Jean Antoine Joas Scholarship
    Although I still have over 8 years of furthering my education to become a Psychiatrist. As of now, graduating high school and getting into colleges/ universities is my greatest achievement. I believe that this was my greatest achievement because I was able to persevere through all of the changes being thrown my way. Not only this but being the first generation to be born in a third world country these were really big milestones in my life. I think the whole high school experience was kind of rough because it never felt like a "normal" experience. Whether it was a good start being changed to virtual learning. To the second year being fully online and most of the students being pretty faceless with teachers almost desperately trying to make learning as easy and engaging as it could be. Which I applaud them because it was so hard to find the motivation to keep going. Or whether it was my family moving to another city in the middle of junior year when we finally returned to semi-normal life. Everyone was not kidding when they said that junior year was the hardest year. The biggest thing I learned about myself is that I'm okay with being alone. There are some people that hate or cant be alone. I learned that there are times where im at most peace of mind when im alone. I think I have the pandemic to blame because everyone was slightly forced to be more isolated from people outside of their families. I was also able to learn that I had so much passion for the mental health field. Witnessing my friends and family being affected negatively on their mental health. Not only them but also strangers openly discussing their mental health helped me gain more wisdom on the field and strive away from all of the negative stigmas that have been said before the pandemic occurred. Don't get me wrong, there are still some negative stigmas but the mental health field has increased and it will definitely need some more Psychiatrists in the future. I also learned that I needed to force myself to get out of my comfort zone. I realized that just complaining or dreaming of a better outcome wont actually get me to where I want to be. Once I developed this mindset, I constantly put myself out there alot more. I even successfully got my first job even though my social anxiety was actually so bad on my first week. A job which I have been able to start savings with for my soon to be college experience. As for my social anxiety I think it has been getting less and less the more I try. In other words, fake it till you make it is real guys. I hope to continue to persevere and keep pushing forward even when times are really hard. My biggest goal now is to lift some of the financial burdens off of my mother when it comes to furthering my education. I want this to be another milestone for myself and my family. Although we might have trouble now, I want this to be an investment to a bigger and brighter future.
    Pool Family LGBT+ Scholarship
    Identity is the hardest thing to maintain. It might even be the hardest to genuinely acknowledge and accept for some. I identify as a Queer Afro-Latina. Being part of 3 different minorities can be pretty rough. At other times, I feel like I can stand out and be much more unique. I didn't realize that I was part of the LGBTQ+ community until a few years ago. A part of me always knew but tried to push it down and ignore it. Thinking back at it now is funny because it was so obvious that everyone but me seem to have realized it. Once I was able to accept who I am and who I want to love it was so hard to find a label that fit me. There are so many boxes and it felt like everyone just wanted you to choose one. I ended up choosing to label myself as pansexual. This label means that I love everyone and show no preference for who you are as a person gender and identity-wise. In other words, as long as you love me lol. It felt very relieving to know that I no longer felt under pressure to have to choose. What shocked me the most of that most of the people I know who are also part of the lgbtq+ community didn't even care about my label. I felt as if I could just be myself without having to broadcast the smaller details. This will be the first year that I will be able to attend any of the pride festivals that will take place nearby. I'm looking forward to being able to experience this joy with other members of the community. Especially because this is not something that previous generations were able to do. I aspire to be someone that future generations will look back at and view as someone that did great in life. My goal is to become a Psychiatrist to help others that may come from similar backgrounds and communities as mine to improve their mental health. I also aspire to help those around me reduce the negative stigmas around having poor mental health. I have personally had poor mental health and have viewed others around me experience similar problems. Having proper help or treatment is not always accessible, which is something I want to do because it should be a right, not a privilege to have this form of healthcare. Although I'm currently only 17 years old and constantly get told to just live in my young years. I can't wait to see what I accomplish in the future and of course how I can give back to my communities in the future as well.
    Phoenix Opportunity Award
    As a first generation to be going into college this upcoming fall, my career goals have been greater and greater each day. I truly believe that it is important to seek any sort of beneficial improvement in life if you get the chance. As for my case, I seek to continue my education beyond high school to pursue a bachelor's degree in Psychology (most likely developmental/clinical) with a minor in Spanish on a Pre-Medical track to become a Psychiatrist. I know that there are individuals that are not able to follow their wanted path due to financial or citizenship status. Growing up with a single mother I have always wanted to push further for myself and my united family. I wanted to take a route that would benefit all around. This includes giving back to communities that weren't as lucky or fortunate. My mother is the strongest woman I know and also of course the hardest worker I know. It always fills me with sadness to know that my mom's dream was to become a lawyer but as she moved to this country she began to work the only job that she could. Seeking higher education was harder for her than it was for me. But at the same time, I'm so very grateful for the sacrifice she made for me and my younger sister to have an easier life than she did and seek education without as much struggle. As I write this, I've come to realize that being the first generation is really about dreaming big and taking action on these dreams. I enjoy the talks my mother and I have about where we see ourselves in the future. I love telling her how I will buy her a house, although she did recently have the biggest milestone of buying herself a house. I still tell her I want to buy her one of the houses ive only seen on Tv. The ones that have a pool and movie room or simply just a room where arts and crafts are made.
    Lillian's & Ruby's Way Scholarship
    Identity is fundamental regardless of where you are and who surrounds you. The way an individual can choose to identify can say a lot about them as a person. I identify as a first-generation college student, the first generation born here in the United States, and the first daughter to my mom. I pretty much have a lot of firsts. Like many families here in the United States, my family came from the Dominican Republic seeking the “American dream”. Sometimes I question what exactly is “The American Dream” with everything that goes on in this country. Some seek more money, education, or a safe home for their families. But I do see that the common goal would be simply succeeding. Sometimes I laugh at myself when I consider great success, simply passing my finals or a class test when I compare it to the sacrifices that were made by my mom. But then I remember that the whole point was for me to not have such a hard time getting to where I am now and regardless of how big the success was I still was able to complete it on my own. This is something I carry with me in everything I do. I've realized I have had my battles with poor mental health before I even knew what the term meant. From my young preteen ages, I had an ED(eating disorder), social anxiety, and experienced microaggressions with racism. For example, I identify as an Afro-Latina ( A Black Latina). With this identification, I have always had to “prove myself” for people to believe me when I say I'm Latina/Hispanic. Looking back at it now, these situations helped me grow more as a person and proved to me that I can beat any obstacles thrown at me. I WILL succeed differently and unlike the success of previous generations. My dream is to become a Psychiatrist. I dream of myself being a successful Psychiatrist who helps others improve their lifestyles for the better. Not only this but I dream of my name being mentioned as one of the best Psychiatrists in the country. I plan on minoring in Spanish and seeking internships that will allow me to also work with others in the Hispanic community. Especially because I feel like there is a lot of bad stigma around seeking therapy. I dream of helping many heal from generational trauma. I come from a single mother who alone has had to raise her two daughters. I plan on furthering my education for myself and also to help lift my family more. I want to spoil my mother in the way that she has always spoiled us. Winning this scholarship will allow my family to reduce the costs of furthering my education. I don't want to burden my mother by adding thousands of more dollars of debt. This scholarship would be an investment from you to me and I will genuinely make good use of the funds being given to me. I plan on reaching my end goal of becoming a psychiatrist, I just need some help to get there. I personally feel like I have already started the path even though I haven't started college just yet. Im excited and nervous about this next chapter of life but im ready to carry out my dreams and make them a reality.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    I dream to be happy with where I am in life and still helping my family and others that may be struggling with mental health.
    “I Matter” Scholarship
    The best way to help someone would be to help them without expecting anything in return. Or at least not expecting that help in that immediate moment. I believe in good karma. I think that if I do good for myself and others around me that energy will circle back someday. I currently work in an attempt to save up for college so when I go to work I always see a different point of view from my coworkers. The reason why I say this is because there are times when I can see a lot of my coworkers stressed over their home life or figuring out how to keep their homes in a good place financially. It always reminds me to be grateful for what I have and most importantly to acknowledge that I'm lucky to work because I want to and not because I need to. My workplace is a local Walgreens so I of course also want to have great customer service and genuinely want to treat others in a good way. I can recall a lot of times when I have gone out of my way to make sure a stranger is doing well, sometimes it may even go beyond the job description. There is a person I still think about to this day. One day a man who I believe to be houseless came into the store claiming that one of us ( me or my manager) had helped him before. Both of us were very confused because at the moment I didn't recall ever seeing his face. I remember telling the man "I don't think we have ever met before but I can help you". I then asked him "What do you need help with?". I could see the relief on his face from me saying that because I'm sure it took a lot for him to come into the store and ask. The man was very sweet and just wanted something to eat. He kept insisting on not trying to spend my money and asked me where the dollar section was. A part of my gut wouldn't let me just give him scraps because I had no idea what past things have been endured before he came into the store. I offered him a drink which is hesitantly accepted. I remember seeing my manager's face of confusion when I asked him to ring me up for the man's items, asking me "Oh you're paying??". It's been a very long time since I've seen that man but I hope he is doing well and encounters someone else willing to help. I know that a lot of people underestimate the real struggles and show no empathy for what a person may be enduring. I always wonder if my small gesture leads him to have faith in others or some sort of turnaround for him. All I can do is wait for a return for me to ask or know he's okay. As I said before, I always believe in karma so depending on how others may have reacted to a situation like this can say a lot about what type of person they are and what type of energy they will bring around them.
    Sammy Meckley Memorial Scholarship
    The phrase "it is what you make it" really stuck with me. Before going into the pandemic during my freshman year of high school I did not do much with my high school experience. In a way, this is one of my biggest regrets throughout my high school experience. While we were during online learning I realized that whenever we returned I needed to put myself out there more and make whatever time was left, count. I honestly didn't even see that time coming anytime soon. When we went back during my junior year, I made it my goal to do a little bit of everything whether it was being class secretary, team manager for the lacrosse team, or simply just hanging out with some friends at our local community center and also serving time as volunteers. Even now as I senior I find passion in spending time with others my age in our community. Being involved will allow you to see another perspective on the community. I moved to Laurel Maryland during the second half of junior year and it was a very big shift when compared to my previous home. I found passion in simple activities like listening to music as I walked down the hall, painting even though I'm not good at it and passionate about how I interacted with others and how I wanted to be remembered. I feel like the community will be benefitting by having the next generation be very united and willing to take part in what is going on around them. Especially if my generation will soon take part in the voting polls and be able to voice their input on what needs to be fixed in our community and around us. It's always important to make sure that those that are younger are on the right track because they will be our future. As my senior year has been coming to an end it has been a reality check that I no longer will have some of these small passions anymore. I like to view it as these passions will adapt to the larger path I plan on taking in my career path. Such as listening to music in the hallway may turn into listening to music in my office 15 years from now as I wait for my patients to come to see one of the best Psychiatrists in the country. Staying in touch with what you love will benefit the community by keeping all the individuals that hold such love and passion for these things still being expressed but in different ways.
    Empower Latin Youth Scholarship
    Hello my name is Carla Helena! I had to grow up being an afro-latina. This not only gave me differences for being hispanic but also for being a hispanic with black features. I remember when I got placed in Esol even though im fluent in both languages. The system just viewed me like a hispanic- who got placed in Esol for knowing how to speak Spanish. If im being completely honest my life has had its ups and downs. My family is originally from Dominican Republic. Like many my parent came to the U.S to get the “American Dream”.I would be first- generation going to college. Which can be really stressful especially when a lot is being expected from you. I overall would like to be a change in the future. More specifically I would like to help those that need it. From what I view in my everyday life there is a lot of things that need to be fixed/ solved as soon as possible. Which can include situations in education and justice. Growing up I have always wanted to be a help for people of all ages.I would like to have the career path of being either a psychologist or psychiatrist. Throughout this past time I have had much interest in mental health. From my personal experience and other experiences this is something I would like to be work on. When I stated “work on” what is meant is that I would like to guide those that need help where they are in a bad place mentally. With this being said my goals in life would be becoming successful with my job/career. For many the word “successful” has many meaning and for me it would just be financially stable and being able to complete my goals of helping people.