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Josiah Yarbrough

1125

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

My goal is to make a difference in the lives of others, especially children who find themselves in foster care, through no fault of their own. I want to help bring healing so these children can lead full lives.

Education

Liberty University

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Pastoral Counseling and Specialized Ministries
    • Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Help people cope with and treat emotional and psychological challenges.

    • Head Foreign Expert

      Changchun Foreign Language School
      2019 – Present5 years

    Sports

    Basketball

    Junior Varsity
    2005 – 20061 year

    Arts

    • The Dance Gallery II

      Dance
      1996 – 2000

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Mosaic Christian Community — Mentor
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Doors of Faith Orphanage — Team Member
      2002 – 2002

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    Mental health is vital to well-being and overall quality of life. Mental health is as important as physical health. When people become sick, the accompanying symptoms change their perceptions; visual, audio, olfactory, and taste sensory inputs can be affected which temporarily changes your perception of the world. Likewise, when your mental health has been compromised, your view of the world changes. If you consistently feel mental fatigue, you begin to lose motivation for things you need to do. If you feel depressed, your perception of the world starts to grow dim. I think mental health is essential for living a full and abundant life. In the past, I suffered from mental health issues and they made life very difficult. There were things I wanted to do but I lacked the confidence and motivation to pursue them. I had trouble sleeping which led to more problems. I had difficulty keeping a job and difficulty in relationships. Mental health problems also posed a challenge to my studies. Mental health is also important for your worldview. Your worldview is your perception of the world and is influenced by many things like culture, education, environment, religion, and relationships. It defines who you are, your purpose, and your meaning in life. If your mental health is altered, your worldview changes, and not for the better. Mental health is important for having a positive view of yourself and the world around you. It also helps you maintain and build relationships, pursue your goals, and follow through on commitments. I maintain my mental wellness, first and foremost, by praying. Religious beliefs do have a positive impact on the mental health of people who believe. My beliefs give me hope and help me keep a positive outlook on life. I also make sure I get an appropriate amount of sleep. Sleep is important for both physical and mental health. Time management also helps my mental wellness. Effective planning helps me do everything I need to complete without being overwhelmed or stressed. Positive self-talk has benefited me as well. It has helped me think positively about myself and others. Furthermore, I regularly eat healthy food and exercise. Your brain releases dopamine when you exercise; dopamine is responsible for motivation and feeling good. If you feel good and are motivated the world looks a little brighter. Likewise, I spend time with my dog. Petting my dog also releases dopamine and it makes me happy and relaxed. Mental health is important for living the best life possible and is worth investing time and energy into maintaining and improving.
    Strong Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
    Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but good, effective leaders must possess some vital qualities. I am a leader at my job and was chosen to lead because I have leadership qualities. First and foremost, I am a leader because I always try to be a person people want to follow. This means I lead by example. I do not ask of others that which I will not do myself. I will not ask others to do something that I can do myself. Also, I do not pass on my responsibilities to others. if I require others to work hard, I work harder. Second, I am a leader because I have a good work ethic. I am the first to arrive and the last to leave. I take my responsibilities seriously and demonstrate to others what they should do so their responsibilities are made clear. Third, I am a leader because I care about others. I am interested in their lives, well-being, challenges they face, and their needs. Not only do I lead in the workplace, but I am a leader in life as well. I set a positive example for my younger brother to follow. Part of being a leader is being appropriately confident. If you are not confident in yourself, it is unlikely that others will be confident in you. I am confident in my abilities and try to instill confidence in others. In addition, leaders should have discernment. I can examine situations, envision possible outcomes, and choose my actions wisely. I can also discern when something is wrong with others and empathize with people who need someone to turn to. Also, I am a leader because I have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Leaders need to be able to communicate clearly so others can understand. Leaders can also speak kindly and encourage and inspire others. Furthermore, leaders do not place themselves on a pedestal or think they are better than others. Good leaders are humble yet strong. Leaders should have sympathy, empathy, and compassion for those they are leading because a leader knows that the group is only as strong as its weakest link. As such, I try to support others and help them achieve their goals because if one person fails, we all fail. I am a leader because I do not merely consider how to help myself succeed; I think of how I can help others succeed too. A leader does not leave anyone behind.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    What is success? Around the world, people from different cultures have various views of success. Some would say that success is how much material wealth you have obtained. Some would determine success by what position you hold in your job or career. Others would say it relates to the level of education you have achieved. While these views all have their merits, I cannot concur. Success is not about how much you have or people’s perceptions of you. I believe success comes from within. Success starts with a purpose and a goal and is achieved when you reach your goal. Success can look different for every individual. If you have a purpose that gives you internal happiness, passion, and motivation to pursue and achieve your goals, you are successful, in my opinion. Also, I think success is doing the most good with what life has given you. Many people in the world have wealth, but not happiness. Some people have a lot and do little good with it. My perception of success is that it is nothing if you do not share it or others do not benefit. The most successful people I know are people others would call failures. They do not have a high-status career, flashy car, or bursting bank account. However, they have joy, a purpose they are fulfilling, and generosity of spirit, and they positively impact the lives of others. This is the kind of success I want to have. With that said, I think that success includes attaining and maintaining good moral fiber and a generosity of spirit, despite a rather harsh world. It is easier to be cruel than it is to be kind. It is easier to be greedy than it is easy to be generous. It is difficult to look upon the needs and suffering of others. However, successful people are mindful of others and willing to give to others and not merely take for themselves. They understand that as the human race, we are all in this world together and we need each other. Life has not given me much in the way of material possessions, but I have a purpose, a hope for a better future, and the motivation to stay on my goal path. I think I am fairly successful already. I am doing the most with what I have and I am continually looking for viable paths to reach my future goal of counseling children and adults who suffer from mental illness or trauma. I always seek to better the lives of others. This scholarship opportunity will help me achieve my future success by helping me pay for my tuition to complete my Psychology degree. At that point, I will be a successful student. That success will lead me to a career in helping others and if I can help change the life of even one person, I will be successful. This scholarship opportunity will help me achieve success by helping me complete my education so I can help others become successful and live life more abundantly. Making something out of nothing, doing your best with whatever you are given, never giving up, and helping others when able ultimately define success to me.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My experience with mental health issues has had a substantial impact on my life. Most of my problems resulted from childhood abuse. In my early twenties, I struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, and self-harm. Though I am a Christian, I struggled to believe that I was worthy of love and that anyone loved me. I struggled with suicidal ideation as well because I had no hope of getting better and I thought that everything and everyone would be better without me. I was taken to mental hospitals several times as a 51/50 patient because of self-harm. I was so desperate for love and acceptance that I ended up in abusive and manipulative relationships. I could not feel love because I did not love myself or know what love was. When I first went to university, it was faith-based and I thought I had found acceptance until I had a PTSD episode in the cafeteria one day. The next morning, I was told that my classes had been canceled, my financial aid was returned, and that I had to pack up my dorm room and leave. The school believed I was dangerous and told me I could only come back if and when I received serious inpatient treatment. This experience was devastating. I felt so misunderstood and alone. However, my beliefs helped me through the darkest times, and love from people who share my beliefs got me through. People who did not have to love me continued to love me even when I thought I was unlovable. I came to realize that mental illness is not who I am; I am so much more and I can overcome some obstacles and persevere through others. To this day, I still struggle with relationships and being around people because I feel like no one understands my perspective. Furthermore, I find that as a man, there are few opportunities for me to talk about my thoughts and emotions. People do not want to listen, so I express myself through prayer. My experience with mental health and what I have perceived in others has given me a desire to help people, which is why I am studying Psychology now. The most effective therapist I ever had showed me that it was okay to have problems and that I was not a lunatic. She informed me that I was coping well despite all I had been through. She allowed me to express myself or sit silently, and did not try to force anything. We need more people like this in the world and I aspire to be one of those people. I want to counsel because I understand and have experienced some challenges people face. I know how difficult, devastating, and lonely it can feel. I also know what it is like when treatment fails but I also know what it feels like to step out of the darkness. Medicine may work, but I think there are more effective therapies that can help people. Light therapy has shown positive results for people with seasonal depression. Forgiveness therapy has helped people find purpose in their suffering and has allowed them to move forward. Hope therapy has helped people find meaning and purpose in their lives. I want to give people hope. In my experience, hope has been transformative. Hope can help people imagine a future without mental health problems. Hope can help build resilience. Hope can lead to better mental health, well-being, and quality of life. Hope may not be a cure for every mental health problem, but hope has given me a future not ruled by my mental health problems and hope is what I want to give to people. Having hope for something better is the only way people can move forward and the world needs more people who can shine light into the darkness, take people by the hand, and walk with them towards the light.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My experience with mental health issues has had a substantial impact on my life. Most of my problems resulted from childhood abuse. In my early twenties, I struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, and self-harm. Though I am a Christian, I struggled to believe that I was worthy of love and that anyone loved me. I struggled with suicidal ideation as well because I had no hope of getting better and I thought that everything and everyone would be better without me. I was taken to mental hospitals several times as a 51/50 patient because of self-harm. I was so desperate for love and acceptance that I ended up in abusive and manipulative relationships. I could not feel love because I did not love myself or know what love was. However, my beliefs helped me through the darkest times, and love from people who share my beliefs got me through. People who did not have to love me continued to love me even when I thought I was unlovable. I came to realize that mental illness is not who I am; I am so much more and I can overcome some obstacles and persevere through others. To this day, I still struggle with relationships and being around people because I feel like no one understands my perspective. Furthermore, I find that as a man, there are few opportunities for me to talk about my thoughts and emotions. People do not want to listen, so I express myself through prayer. I think that everyone in my immediate family has mental health issues, though some are not diagnosed. My experience with mental health and what I have perceived in others has given me a desire to help people, which is why I am studying Psychology now. The most effective therapist I ever had showed me that it was okay to have problems and that I was not a lunatic. She informed me that I was coping well despite all I had been through. She allowed me to express myself or sit silently, and did not try to force anything. We need more people like this in the world and I aspire to be one of those people. I want to counsel because I understand and have experienced some challenges people face. I know how difficult, devastating, and lonely it can feel. I also know what it is like when treatment fails but I also know what it feels like to step out of the darkness. Medicine may work, but I think there are more effective therapies that can help people. Light therapy has shown positive results for people with seasonal depression. Forgiveness therapy has helped people find purpose in their suffering and has allowed them to move forward. Hope therapy has helped people find meaning and purpose in their lives. I want to give people hope. In my experience, hope has been transformative. Hope can help people imagine a future without mental health problems. Hope can help build resilience. Hope can lead to better mental health, well-being, and quality of life. Hope may not be a cure for every mental health problem, but hope has given me a future not ruled by my mental health problems and hope is what I want to give to people. Having hope for something better is the only way people can move forward and the world needs more people who can shine light into the darkness, take people by the hand, and walk with them towards the light.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    What is success? Around the world, people from different cultures have various views of success. Some would say that success is determined by how much material wealth you have obtained. Some would determine success by what position you hold in your job or career. Others would say it relates to the degree of education your have achieved. While these views all have their merits, I cannot concur. In my opinion, success is doing the most with what you have been given at this point in your life. Success cannot be generalized and it cannot be black and white. We should not say a CEO has achieved success and a waitress has not. Every person begins their journey of success in different circumstances. If someone has started with every disadvantage and has worked their way to waiter or waitress, one could say this person is just as successful as a CEO. Success is not about your job title; it is not what is in your bank account and it is not about material possessions. I would also say that success is attaining and maintaining good moral fiber and a generosity of spirit, in spite of a rather harsh world. It is easier to be cruel than it is to be kind. It is easier to be greedy than it is easy to be generous. It is difficult to look upon the needs and suffering of others, especially, however, successful people are those who thoughtful or their fellow man and who are willing to give to others and not merely take for themselves. They understand that as the human race, we are all in this world together and we need each other. Furthermore, success is doing the most with your life. Success is continuing to press on, even when life continually knocks you down. I am on the road to success. I began my journey at a disadvantage. I was abused as a child, entered foster care was left on my own after I emancipated. Even though I struggled with trauma and mental health issues, I kept pressing on, working and going to school as much as possible. I have endured homelessness, helplessness and general lack of support. But I have kept going. I left my country to be an ESL teacher in China, in hopes of getting out of poverty. I finally reached a place of peace. However, there are a few more steps I need to take to be successful. One of those steps is to finish my degree in Psychology so that I can help others on their road to success. The last step is to begin my career in counseling, to equip others with the tools and help needed to preserve through various challenges to achieve their own success. This scholarship opportunity will help be achieve success by helping me complete my education and finally help others become successful and live life more abundantly. Making something out of nothing, doing your best with whatever you are given, never giving up, and helping others along the way is what success is to me.
    Ethan To Scholarship
    The career path I have chosen is Psychology, in order to better understand myself and to help others who have been where I have been to face, work through and overcome mental and emotional effects of various challenges in life. I was abused as a child and the mental and emotional consequences of that trauma followed me into adulthood. When I was 18 and fresh out of the foster care system, I went to university. I was struggling with depression, self-harm, post traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder. I was asked to leave the university after having a PTSD episode in the dining hall, only a month after the semester began. I was told that I needed inpatient treatment and that I could only return after I was better. I had previously seen therapists while I was in foster care, but I was reluctant to share with them what was going on inside of me because I did not trust them and they seemed to be trying to force responses out of me. But there was one therapist I began seeing after being asked to leave university that I was able to open up to. She was patient and didn’t pressure me to speak of things until I was ready. She was the one that really helped me on my path towards healing. Throughout my teenage years up to my late twenties, mental health issues affected me. Because I was on my own, I had to work and study, which was challenging. I would go through periods of depression that were so intense that I would just stop going to work and take long breaks from school. I suffered from insomnia because I didn’t want to sleep and dream the nightmares that plagued me. I felt alone, not understood and I often felt crazy. I struggled with guilt, shame, worthlessness and wondered if I could ever be loved, if I was even worthy of love. The few relationships I had were co-dependent and abusive. My partners were manipulative, physically abusive and took advantage of my need to be loved. I believed this was the best I could hope for. While much of my healing came to me through my faith in God, I also believe that it took understanding people to give me the tools I needed to overcome. It is people like this that have inspired me to give back. My goal for my career and my life is to help people work through, manage and even overcome the mental and emotional challenges they face. Being someone who has stood where they stand, I can better understand and empathize with people, and approach every individual with patience and understanding. I also want to give people the tools they need to not only survive, but to thrive. I want to people on their path to healing, freedom, peace and wholeness, that they may live their lives more abundantly.
    Early Childhood Developmental Trauma Legacy Scholarship
    Winner
    In my personal experience, early childhood development trauma has lasting consequences, well into adulthood. That trauma affects how you see the world, how you see people and how you see yourself. I was abused sexually, physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally from a very young age, by people I was supposed to love and trust because they were supposed to love me. I was a quiet child. I did not make friends easily. I was teased and bullied. People who could see my vulnerability took advantage of it. In my teen years, I was suicidal. I felt unloved, worthless and that no one would miss me. I felt alone. Nothing I did would ever be enough. I was ugly, disgusting and unlovable. I felt that maybe I deserve all of this. In my late teens and early twenties, I struggled with self-mutilation, depression, borderline-personality disorder and post-traumatic stress syndrome. As I got older, I was able to heal in many areas because of my faith in God, but to this day I can still see the effects of childhood trauma in my life today. It is still hard to let people touch me, to let people really know me. It is hard to trust people. As a man, it is difficult to find people who are willing to listen to my problems. I do not receive the support or compassion that one would hope for if they were in my shoes. Early childhood development trauma robs children of their innocence and of their childhood. It causes children to face things that they mentally and emotionally are incapable of handling. Due to this fact, traumatized children grow up with a plethora of issues be it mental, emotional, behavioral, social or a combination of these. I want a career in the field of counseling or psychology, focusing on children and adolescents, hopefully working with children in the foster care system and possibly fostering or adopting children myself. I will use this career field to combat the issue of early childhood development trauma by being a safe adult for children to talk to, after establishing trust by allowing them to talk when they are ready. The more therapists tried forcing conversations out of me, the more I retreated inside of myself. In my career, I will develop a trusting relationship with each child, where they feel comfortable and safe to open up, in their own timing. I will work with children to overcome feelings of guilt and shame. I will help children learn positive self-talk to help they grow in confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. I will help children find healthy ways to handle their emotions and develop healthy social practices. Most importantly, I will help children believe that they are loved and worthy of love. Finally, in my career, I will help parents and guardians understand what children with early childhood development trauma struggle with and teach them positive and productive ways to help the children in their care. My dream is to help children get healing, freedom, peace and joy. I want them to not only give and receive love, but to truly feel loved and lovable. I want to give traumatized children a fighting chance in the world and the tools they need to live life abundantly.