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Matthew Oviedo

1565

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

Hi, I am Matthew Oviedo and I plan on majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice in order to become a leader in the field of Psychology to pursue positive change in the world and advocate for mental health, while also trying to use my Criminal Justice background to fight against the injustices that low-income minority communities face. My goals are to become a Clinical Psychologist, invoke healthier mental development in the world through my work and educate communities, specifically the Latino community to break stigmas surrounding mental health. I also want to combat the unfairness of law that is found in Latino communities. I am a proud TCU student, son, brother, and uncle. I love to workout, play video games, read all types of genre, and find new and exciting tv shows to become obsessed with.

Education

Texas Christian University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
  • Minors:
    • Criminology

Idea Monterrey Park Colg Prep

High School
2018 - 2021

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Psychology

    • Dream career goals:

      Clinical Psychologist

    • Desk Assistant

      TCU
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Cashier

      WingStop
      2021 – 2021
    • Team Leader

      Jack In The Box
      2018 – 20213 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2020 – 20211 year

    Football

    Varsity
    2014 – 20206 years

    Research

    • Research and Experimental Psychology

      Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU — Student
      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      IDEA Monterrey Park — Helping organize groups to hand out blankets and clothing to homeless families downtown during winter.
      2018 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Global Citizens — Organizing and Leading groups in the effort to clean up the neighborhood.
      2018 – 2021
    • Advocacy

      Independent — Advocate for emotional support resources.
      2018 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      IDEA Monterrey Park — Guide/Speaker
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church — Setting up tables and giving out food to those of low income families or homeless families during Thanksgiving.
      2018 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Dog Owner Scholarship
    Let me tell you the story of how Jasity became my best friend. I remember begging my mom for a dog all throughout elementary. I also remember being disappointed as the answer was always "no." Then, during the summer before 6th grade, my mom tells me that we are going to go get a dog. I could not contain my excitement, nor could I believe what I was hearing. I was gushing the entire time on the ride to my aunt's house. I kept telling my mom how I was going to get a boy and that he was going to be my best friend ever! Once we arrived to my aunt's house, we were led to the back where all the puppies were asleep in the shed on a blanket. They were all rolling in their sleep and they were so tiny. My aunt showed us which pups were boys and which were girls. I instantly picked up one of the boys and began hugging and kissing him, I was gonna say that I choose him until I felt a tug on my jeans. I look down and there is this feisty girl pup biting the edge of my jeans. I placed the boy pup down and picked the girl pup up. She began biting my fingers and I simply fell in love. I knew she was the dog for me. Out of all the legs to bite, she somehow woke up and waddled towards me. Therefore, I love to say that I did not choose Jasity, she chose me. Fast forward 8 years into the future and she is still my best friend. Jasity has been there for me at times that I was at my lowest and my highest. She is there when I am rambling about my "stupid homework," or when I am crying over a breakup. She is there when I am telling her about how great school was and that I passed my exam with an A. She is always there to lay on me and give me lots of kisses to show me her love. Jasity has played the role of being a friend who loves me unconditionally. I know my life would be vastly different if she was not in it. She has truly been there for me at times that I needed her. She taught me what it was like to nurture and raise another living thing. Jasity is my best friend and she is family. I can confidently say that she has made me a better person in life. I love my baby, she has changed my life in so many positive ways. I truly believe Jasity was a blessing sent to me. I still am in awe that she somehow waddled up to me, but I also am so incredibly grateful that she did. I know that I am who I am today because of her. She is the best dog in the world and she is my best friend.
    You Glow Differently When You're Happy Scholarship
    Imagine falling in love with someone living hundreds of miles away from you. I do not have to imagine this scenario as that is exactly what happened to me. I saw a girl with the prettiest smile on Instagram and decided to text her. A few weeks later, we began dating without having ever met. After a month of dating, we began planning our first in-person date. We met at a mall near the Riverwalk in San Antonio. We watched her favorite movie together, ate wings and got super messy, and walked along the water. It was a beautiful day!
    AMPLIFY Chess Masters Scholarship
    No matter the odds, no matter how many missing pieces, no matter how grave the situation may be, you can always secure a victory with dedication and the right moves. I began playing chess in the 4th grade and I have not stopped since. I remember being absolutely horrible my first few games, but I also remember being completely captivated by how fun and competitive chess could be. I was instantly dedicated to becoming better at the game of chess. On another note, there was a classmate of mine in the chess club during elementary that I wanted to beat in a match more than anything at the time. Andrew was undoubtedly the best player in our chess club and would go on to decimate me in every game we played in our beginning matches. After many practices and matches, I started to get our games to where they were close, but still always fell short of my goal to win. Eventually I went the entire year of 4th grade without a single victory against Andrew, but I did rise within the club and was named Co-Captain of the team as I was able to earn the rank of being the second best player. However, this was not adequate enough for me. I wanted to secure a victory against Andrew and become the best player on our team. Throughout the summer before 5th grade, I was driven to hone in on my abilities within chess. I played matches against the computer, played matches against people in person and online, and I read strategies and techniques like my life depended on it. I was going to become the best chess player at my school and no one was going to stop my quest to do so. My hard work and competitive drive were put to the test in the first meets of our chess club. Our club leader, Mr.Galveston, was in love with rankings. As a result of this love, he created a bracket for all the chess members at the start of each year and did so several times throughout the year to help determine the best players and the growth of players. It seemed like time moved at light speed the way I was going through my opponents to reach my final competitor, and who else could it be? Andrew. I remember feeling a tug in my heart and a twitch in my throat, my hand felt the weight of boulders as I lifted it to move each piece. The start of the game was not kind to me. It seemed as every move I made was a mistake on my part, but helpful for Andrew. With all eyes in the room on our chess match, waiting for the outcome like pigeons in a park waiting for bread, I felt helpless and embarrassed with the outcome of the game so far. Doubt began to settle in like an old friend and I started to think my work towards becoming a better chess player was going to be for nothing, but I never gave up because I was motivated to win. In the end, that is exactly what I did; I won. I was able to put the right pieces in the right spots, compete at a high level, and push myself to victory through motivation. It was the comeback of the century, at least for me it was. I never gave up chess after that. I played all throughout middle school and high school, and was even able to secure two chess trophies for my school through tournaments. Chess helped me shine the light upon the competitive nature that laid dormant inside me. Chess helped me value motivation and hard work, proving that the two will lead you to success and victory. Chess helped me learn that life is reliant on the pieces you have and how you work them. Chess gave me the tools that I will use to achieve my goals of graduating from college and becoming a Clinical Psychologist. There will be days in my academic pursuit where I will feel the lack of motivation, but chess taught me how to find motivation from within. I will compete against others on my journey to become a Clinical Psychologist and I need to win. College will not be easy and neither will the roads afterward, but I will use what chess taught me to conquer these hardships. Life will be my chess match, and I will win.
    Harold Reighn Moxie Scholarship
    Growing up in a family where you cannot 'feel' like you need to succeed, but 'have' to succeed feels like there are cinder blocks tied to your legs while swimming in a sea of stress. I have three siblings: A brother and two sisters, and ever since I was young, none of them have ever set a good example for me. My two sisters finished high school and never went to college and my brother was a high school dropout. All three were somewhat involved in sports, no extracurricular activities and all of them brought home average to below average grades. They grew up to each have multiple kids, financial issues, nor can any of them hold a steady income or home. This is what I grew up seeing and this is what I grew up believing I was gonna be like. My family always told me I would be different due to the grades I would bring and my involvement in elementary through high school, but I still always believed my family was just waiting for me to be like my siblings. I have been brought to tears from the overload of work I put myself through, but I persevere because I understand there is no room for giving up. Failure is acceptable, but quitting is not and I will not be a quitter. My siblings have taught me that I must shoulder the Oviedo name with pride and on my own. I have been offered no help or advice from my family other than seeing what I do not want to become. The thought of being like my siblings and disappointing my mother frightened me. I never wanted to turn out like that and I believe that is why I try so hard in school and try to push myself to be the best I can be at whatever I do. It gets stressful and hard, but I persevere in my goals. That drive instilled within me is what is going to get me to where I need to go. College. It was hard to see people you were supposed to look up to and learn from go down such a miserable and dreadful road, but it’s what motivated me to go down a different road. I intend to make my mother proud and prove that I can prove the odds wrong. I cannot imagine the example being set for my nephews and nieces while they watch their parent's actions. I try hard to be a positive influence for them, but it is not always easy seeing as I cannot be around them all the time and it will only get harder as I am leaving for college soon. In the end, the things I have learned about myself are that I am motivated and driven to achieve success in academia and that I want to do what my siblings couldn’t do, what my mother could not do, or what my grandparents couldn’t do, what no one in my family could do. I’ve learned through these unfortunate events that I want to set a better example for my nephews and nieces and prove to them that they can do whatever they want to in life as long as they work hard and are dedicated. I want to prove that I can be something other than what my siblings were. I want to make my family proud of me. Most importantly, I want to be an example for all Hispanic and Latinx children in low income communities. I want to use academia to become a beacon to those who believe they cannot succeed within their lives due to limited resources and lack of support. That is why I push myself so hard all the time. That is why I am the way I am.
    Empower Latin Youth Scholarship
    It is a devastating experience to grow up in a Latin American community where most families come from a low economic background and do not always have the resources that they need. More specifically, it is heartbreaking to watch friends and loved ones fall into the clutches of mental illness because they either do not have the income to afford therapy and proper medical help, or they do not have the full support of their parents due to a lack of education on the topic. I have had many Hispanic and Latinx friends confide in me about their mental sufferings and when I ask what have they done to be properly diagnosed or medicated, the response is always the same: "My parents do not believe in mental health, so they will not help me," or "My parents tell me to just 'Man up' and stop faking it." The amount of times I have heard these lines or something similar is unfair. No child should have to live through their depression, anxiety, or any other form of mental illness due to a lack of education or income. My experience growing up around these types of scenarios and my own personal experiences have guided me down the path that is the only one for me and that is becoming a Clinical Psychologist. I plan to dedicate my life and career to making sure no child or individual in my community and culture ever lack the proper resources to getting proper mental help. I want to become the wrecking ball to the barriers that surround my community in terms of lack of education, financial insecurity, and mental illnesses. I want to become a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the psychological treatment of children and young adults. I also plan on starting a non profit organization that is specifically aimed at Latin communities. Through these two actions, I accomplish the goals I have. I allow myself to help the age I am passionate of and help my community as well. It is my personal mission to use my experiences and education to better the lives of those around me, that share the same struggle as me, and those who share the same heritage as me. I promise to change the lives and world for my community and everyone who suffers from mental illness.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    The situation I faced that began the summer before my Sophomore year is one that I will never forget and is what put me on the path of wanting to become a Clinical Psychologist. I never suspected the shy individual sitting in the corner of the room during our after-school program would change my life. I first met April my freshman year of high school and we instantly became friends; in fact we became best friends. They liked the same shows as me, played Xbox, enjoyed similar artists and so much more. This sweet person was so full of enthusiasm and pure joy. We were best friends, yet I never knew the battles they faced emotionally and mentally on their own. One day during early June in the summer before sophomore year, they went completely radio silent. I texted them for days and nothing. I texted other friends they had on social media and nothing. I checked their social media daily and nothing. It was almost as if they vanished. Eventually, I stopped checking their pages, but I never stopped wondering what happened to my friend. This next event will forever be locked into my memory. I was in California with my school for a college field lesson and at time we were at Dave & Busters getting lunch. I received a text on Instagram from a complete stranger asking "Is this Matthew Oviedo?" I saw the text, replied, and then nearly dropped my phone at what they said next. They explained to me they were a friend of April and had recently been let out of a mental institution. They also told me that April had given them my Instagram name and asked them to contact me once they were out. I gave them my number and they called me explaining everything; it turns out April was in there due to a failed suicide attempt. My heart dropped when I received this information and all I could think about was how I had no idea this was even an issue April dealt with and how I wasn't there to help them. I was given information on how to contact April and a few days later we spoke on the phone for the first time in almost a year. April briefly explained the reasoning behind their attempt and explained how they have struggled with depression for years. I was baffled to hear this and within that very moment, I told myself I would do everything and anything in my power to assist April in any way they needed it. After a few more months, April was finally released and able to come back home. We talked every day and I began visiting on a regular basis. I listened any time they had a negative thought or issue, provided advice for whenever they asked for it, but most importantly I showed them love and compassion. The thought that I almost lost April, a person I loved, to mental illness was always on the back of my mind. This thought led to another: imagine all the other people out there who felt just like April and all their friends and family who felt like me. Also, imagine those who were "successful" in their attempts. These thoughts and the event of almost losing April are what sparked my passion for the advocacy of mental illness. I would share posts regarding mental illness awareness to my social media accounts and would make posts that would bring attention to mental illness such as what to look for, how to be there for a loved one or friend suffering from mental illness and much more. Through these actions, I realized how passionate I was to create change for those suffering from their internal and mental struggles. I began looking at careers in which I could make the difference I wanted and this is where I learned I wanted to become a Clinical Psychologist. I have made it my life mission to educate on the topic of mental illness and to save lives in the process. For April and everyone else suffering from the clutches of mental illness, I will make a difference for them.
    John J. DiPietro COME OUT STRONG Scholarship
    Sweat dripping off your forehead, it feels like you have cinder blocks for feet, there’s a bowling ball attached to your stomach, you march towards your destination and take a quick seat before having to take those three steps onto the metal giant that will take you to your next destination that you dread going to. This is what it feels like for a pregnant woman to walk by herself to a bus stop in the heat and wait for the bus to take her to work. This is what my mom did for several months while pregnant with me in order to provide for herself and her child. My mother has put herself through hardships and challenges her entire life in order to better mine. My mother has sacrificed her time, her body, and put in her sweat, blood, and tears in order to benefit my life and elevate hers. My mother has showed me that you can’t afford to sit around and wait for a miracle to save you, you need to save yourself. My mother is my greatest role model in my life. Ever since I was old enough to speak, my mother has spoon fed me knowledge and advice. As a single mother, she did not have the resources and help to raise me, so she knew she had to give it her 110% when it came to raising me. She instilled beautiful morals into my soul, engrained the idea of hard work into my mind, and taught me the values of love to my heart. I am who I am because of her. Her approach to many things in life are what I strive to mimic. I believe the two most important values that my mother have taught me are the values of working hard in order for the betterment of yourself and life and to always spread love and help others in times of need. I believe her upbringing of me are what have led me down my path of majoring in Psychology and for the amount of hard work I put in during my high school career to achieve the grades, ranks, and positions that I got. I plan to major in Psychology with aspirations of becoming a Clinical Psychologist to help those in critical mental condition, just as my mother always taught me to do. There is no fictional character, celebrity, athlete, or person that could live up to the role model my mother has been for me. I hope to be the parent she has been to my kids one day and to spread the love she has taught me. My mother’s teaching will be bigger than her when I introduce them to everyone and anyone I can. Her teachings will live on for generations of family and of strangers. I could not ask for a better mother and role model.
    "Wise Words" Scholarship
    Experiencing regret is a point that no one wants or plans to reach in their lifetime. you often hear people saying “no regrets!” or “you only live once” right before doing something spontaneous or when plotting an overzealous plan. Although most times those quotes apply to a situation that’s short term or almost instantaneous, it still applies to the idea that we, as humans, should either live in the moment or shoot for the stars in what we want in order to avoid pondering of the “what if’s” and possible scenarios that could have happened. I completely agree with this form of ideology, shoot for the stars and do everything you want and more. This is why my favorite quote is “Don’t blink and be 40 and be mad.” Jermaine Brown, my school’s athletic director, was the man who said this quote to me. We were in discussion about the future after high school and how to tackle the hardships and challenges of life. Mr. Brown was giving a few of my classmates and myself a long talk on how to live in the moment, experience new things, and to try and get involved in everything we want to do. Mr. Brown further explained that there is no such thing as an outlandish dream and to approach every dream we have with a time limit. For example, if your passion is music, you tell yourself that you will give yourself until 28 to become a musician, and if it does not work out, then you move on. This allows for no regrets because you at least give yourself the opportunity to try and now you may move on to new experiences. This quote has inspired me for my future endeavors and in the pursuit of my career. Mr. Brown’s quote has helped me hone in on the mindset that I need to hound down every opportunity I see and take it so that I am never left wondering “what if.” Also, I know that my career path towards becoming a Clinical Psychologist is going to be one of hard work, dedication, time, and effort. All these hardships do not phase me because I will conquer all of them in the idea of not becoming 40 and being mad that I gave up on my dreams and allowing the clutches of regret to keep me up at night. Regret will be the 3-headed monster that I slay every time I choose to do something that may be difficult or seem far fetched. I will live up to my own expectations and to the quote that has and will guide me.
    "What Moves You" Scholarship
    Experiencing regret is a point that no one wants or plans to reach in their lifetime. you often hear people saying “no regrets!” or “you only live once” right before doing something spontaneous or when plotting an overzealous plan. Although most times those quotes apply to a situation that’s short term or almost instantaneous, it still applies to the idea that we, as humans, should either live in the moment or shoot for the stars in what we want in order to avoid pondering of the “what if’s” and possible scenarios that could have happened. I completely agree with this form of ideology, shoot for the stars and do everything you want and more. This is why my favorite quote is “Don’t blink and be 40 and be mad.” Jermaine Brown, my school’s athletic director, was the man who said this quote to me. We were in discussion about the future after high school and how to tackle the hardships and challenges of life. Mr. Brown was giving a few of my classmates and myself a long talk on how to live in the moment, experience new things, and to try and get involved in everything we want to do. Mr. Brown further explained that there is no such thing as an outlandish dream and to approach every dream we have with a time limit. For example, if your passion is music, you tell yourself that you will give yourself until 28 to become a musician, and if it does not work out, then you move on. This allows for no regrets because you at least give yourself the opportunity to try and now you may move on to new experiences. This quote has inspired me for my future endeavors and in the pursuit of my career. Mr. Brown’s quote has helped me hone in on the mindset that I need to hound down every opportunity I see and take it so that I am never left wondering “what if.” Also, I know that my career path towards becoming a Clinical Psychologist is going to be one of hard work, dedication, time, and effort. All these hardships do not phase me because I will conquer all of them in the idea of not becoming 40 and being mad that I gave up on my dreams and allowing the clutches of regret to keep me up at night. Regret will be the 3-headed monster that I slay every time I choose to do something that may be difficult or seem far fetched. I will live up to my own expectations and to the quote that has and will guide me.
    Bubba Wallace Live to Be Different Scholarship
    Nearly 1/5 adults within the US suffer from some type of mental illness, meaning that although not too uncommon, the average person will never fully understand the crippling nature of mental illness. The average person will not know how it feels to lack complete motivation in trying to do anything, how it feels to lack the drive to get out of bed, how it feels to think you are utterly and completely useless, or how it feels to think you serve no purpose on this planet despite any attempt by others to convince you otherwise. As a young child, I faced the most difficult period of my life: falling victim to sexual assault. As crazy as it may sound, facing life after the incident was much more challenging than the actual assault. I think the reason this is was because I could not fully grasp the concept of what was happening until everything was sorted out afterwards. I remember feeling crushed, as if my innocence was stolen away from me like a thief stealing a purse. Although I was the victim, I felt ashamed and told myself that this was all my fault. I fell into a deep depression at such an early age and I was extremely unsure of how to cope with what had happened to me. For a long time there, I did not believe I had any type of worth as a human being and often contemplated suicide. I used to asked myself "How did you let this happen?" instead of asking "How could someone do this?" Although I had countless therapy sessions, long reflections on the event, talks with my mother, and journal entries, I believe the thing that help me overcome the depressive hold I was in was the realization that I had the power to lift myself up and put myself in a position to help others who have experienced similar situations to my own. The thought of pursuing a career in helping children with their mental illness due to traumatic events really gave me the passion and drive that I needed. In an ironic twist, the worst moment of my life is what I sometimes call a blessing in disguise. Now, I am not too sure if those are the right words to call it, but I say this because of the mindset that I now hold due to the incident. It seems now my brain only knows love, compassion and wanting to help others suffering mentally in any way I can. The incident opened up the doors to me wanting to become a Clinical Psychologist or possibly a Therapist. I have set my personal life goal to wanting to help uplift other children who face the vile and horrid state of depression and other forms of mental illness. I intend to promote positive change within my work and hopefully impact and save lives in the process. I understand what happened to me was horrible, but if the reason it happened was to set me on the path of saving lives and helping even just one child overcome their own difficulties, then it will have been worth it.
    Breanden Beneschott Fire Memes Scholarship
    I made all three of these memes for some light chuckles on the idea of applying for scholarships. My caption for the collection of memes would be “If I could sum up my scholarship experience, it would be with these memes.” I hope whoever looks at these gets a quick laugh out of them. My instagram handle is @meritable.matt.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    The situation I faced that began the summer before my Sophomore year is one that I will never forget and is what put me on the path of wanting to become a Clinical Psychologist. I never suspected the shy individual sitting in the corner of the room during our after-school program would change my life. I first met April my freshman year of high school and we instantly became friends; in fact we became best friends. They liked the same shows as me, played Xbox, enjoyed similar artists and so much more. This sweet person was so full of enthusiasm and pure joy. We were best friends, yet I never knew the battles they faced emotionally and mentally on their own. One day during early June in the summer before sophomore year, they went completely radio silent. I texted them for days and nothing. I texted other friends they had on social media and nothing. I checked their social media daily and nothing. It was almost as if they vanished. Eventually, I stopped checking their pages, but I never stopped wondering what happened to my friend. This next event will forever be locked into my memory. I was in California with my school for a college field lesson and at time we were at Dave & Busters getting lunch. I received a text on Instagram from a complete stranger asking "Is this Matthew Oviedo?" I saw the text, replied, and then nearly dropped my phone at what they said next. They explained to me they were a friend of April and had recently been let out of a mental institution. They also told me that April had given them my Instagram name and asked them to contact me once they were out. I gave them my number and they called me explaining everything; it turns out April was in there due to a failed suicide attempt. My heart dropped when I received this information and all I could think about was how I had no idea this was even an issue April dealt with and how I wasn't there to help them. I was given information on how to contact April and a few days later we spoke on the phone for the first time in almost a year. April briefly explained the reasoning behind their attempt and explained how they have struggled with depression for years. I was baffled to hear this and within that very moment, I told myself I would do everything and anything in my power to assist April in any way they needed it. After a few more months, April was finally released and able to come back home. We talked every day and I began visiting on a regular basis. I listened any time they had a negative thought or issue, provided advice for whenever they asked for it, but most importantly I showed them love and compassion. The thought that I almost lost April, a person I loved, to mental illness was always on the back of my mind. This thought led to another: imagine all the other people out there who felt just like April and all their friends and family who felt like me. Also, imagine those who were "successful" in their attempts. These thoughts and the event of almost losing April are what sparked my passion for the advocacy of mental illness. I would share posts regarding mental illness awareness to my social media accounts and would make posts that would bring attention to mental illness such as what to look for, how to be there for a loved one or friend suffering from mental illness and much more. Through these actions, I realized how passionate I was to create change for those suffering from their internal and mental struggles. I began looking at careers in which I could make the difference I wanted and this is where I learned I wanted to become a Clinical Psychologist. I have made it my life mission to educate on the topic of mental illness and to save lives in the process. For April and everyone else suffering from the clutches of mental illness, I will make a difference for them. I will use my education to persevere in my goals of creating a more understanding and loving world. Putting my career aspirations to the side, my own personal experience with April shaped how I am with others. April taught me that no matter how close you may be to a person, you may not know the struggles they face with their own mental state. As a result, I treat everyone around me with love and compassion because you never know what someone might be going through in life. It is important to treat individuals with compassion and let them know that they matter and that someone cares about them because that can be the difference in a good or bad day for them. Unless you can read minds, you can't know what a person is thinking. A smiling human can still be a broken person. April taught me that we, as a society, need to love each other, care for each other, and be there for each other. A "perfect" world may be nothing more than a pipe dream, but that does not discourage me from wanting to work towards that type of world. I want to help people who struggle with mental illness as much as I can within my lifetime, but I also want to positively help those who are blessed to be free of any mental illness until the day I die. Simply put, I want to spread happiness and love into the world and I believe that is my biggest goal for my life.
    AMPLIFY Mental Health Scholarship
    The situation I faced that began the summer before my Sophomore year is one that I will never forget and is what put me on the path of wanting to become a Clinical Psychologist. I never suspected the shy individual sitting in the corner of the room during our after-school program would change my life. I first met April my freshman year of high school and we instantly became friends; in fact we became best friends. They liked the same shows as me, played Xbox, enjoyed similar artists and so much more. This sweet person was so full of enthusiasm and pure joy. We were best friends, yet I never knew the battles they faced emotionally and mentally on their own. One day during early June in the summer before sophomore year, they went completely radio silent. I texted them for days and nothing. I texted other friends they had on social media and nothing. I checked their social media daily and nothing. It was almost as if they vanished. Eventually, I stopped checking their pages, but I never stopped wondering what happened to my friend. This next event will forever be locked into my memory. I was in California with my school for a college field lesson and at time we were at Dave & Busters getting lunch. I received a text on Instagram from a complete stranger asking "Is this Matthew Oviedo?" I saw the text, replied, and then nearly dropped my phone at what they said next. They explained to me they were a friend of April and had recently been let out of a mental institution. They also told me that April had given them my Instagram name and asked them to contact me once they were out. I gave them my number and they called me explaining everything; it turns out April was in there due to a failed suicide attempt. My heart dropped when I received this information and all I could think about was how I had no idea this was even an issue April dealt with and how I wasn't there to help them. I was given information on how to contact April and a few days later we spoke on the phone for the first time in almost a year. April briefly explained the reasoning behind their attempt and explained how they have struggled with depression for years. I was baffled to hear this and within that very moment, I told myself I would do everything and anything in my power to assist April in any way they needed it. After a few more months, April was finally released and able to come back home. We talked every day and I began visiting on a regular basis. I listened any time they had a negative thought or issue, provided advice for whenever they asked for it, but most importantly I showed them love and compassion. The thought that I almost lost April, a person I loved, to mental illness was always on the back of my mind. This thought led to another: imagine all the other people out there who felt just like April and all their friends and family who felt like me. Also, imagine those who were "successful" in their attempts. These thoughts and the event of almost losing April are what sparked my passion for the advocacy of mental illness. I would share posts regarding mental illness awareness to my social media accounts and would make posts that would bring attention to mental illness such as what to look for, how to be there for a loved one or friend suffering from mental illness and much more. Through these actions, I realized how passionate I was to create change for those suffering from their internal and mental struggles. I began looking at careers in which I could make the difference I wanted and this is where I learned I wanted to become a Clinical Psychologist. I have made it my life mission to educate on the topic of mental illness and to save lives in the process. For April and everyone else suffering from the clutches of mental illness, I will make a difference for them.
    Nikhil Desai "Favorite Film" Scholarship
    What is my favorite movie of all time? That would be 'Fight Club.' Why? Well, I'm not too sure I can say why because rule #1 of fight club: "You do not talk about fight club." Rule #2 of fight club: "You do not talk about fight club." Therefore, I am forbidden to say why because I simply cannot break not one, but two rules of fight club.
    Make Me Laugh Meme Scholarship
    I’ve been going back and forth on which meme or funny picture I should submit for this scholarship. I finally decided to make this simple, little picture that gave me a little chuckle and I hope it can make whoever looks at it at least smile. Also, don’t forget that when you read the final message in the corner, it’s basically a sworn promise. Therefore, I must be awarded this scholarship because how can one break such a promise?
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    Within this photo, you see a young man and his amazing mother. What you don’t see is the conversation that took place just beforehand; my coming-out speech. For so long I have been scared to tell my Catholic, Hispanic mother that I am bisexual. I have feared the rejection and confusion that I thought would take place, but instead the complete opposite happened. My mother was more than accepting and was completely loving. I have wanted to tell her this for a long time and with college right around the corner, I finally worked the courage to let her know.
    Sander Jennings Spread the Love Scholarship
    I have struggled with my self-love and self-esteem ever since I was a young child. I unfortunately fell victim to sexual abuse as a child and it shaped the way I viewed the world and people. I began looking at the world in a cynical and hateful manner. I did not trust people easily and I blamed myself for a very long time. After opening up about my feelings to my mother, she fortunately put me on a new track to begin the process of loving myself again. For too long I felt disgusting in my old skin and I needed to shed these feelings like a snake shedding their skin. I started off with simple things like complimenting myself in the mirror in each morning and another technique that helped me was asking myself "who told you that?" any time my brain began conjuring up negative thoughts. All in all, these techniques plus many more shaped me to be who I am today; a healthy and happy individual. I now have strong beliefs in the positive aspects of the world and a better relationship with God, my relationship and friendships are stronger than ever and I aspire to become a Clinical Psychologist in order to work with children who have gone through traumatic events to help them in their journey towards self-love.
    JuJu Foundation Scholarship
    My trauma. As a child, I was subject to sexual assault by a friend from my sister’s high school. The aftermath of this event completely changed my perception of the world. I feel I became extremely cynical afterwards and just felt to worthless and angry all the time. It was hard dealing with all these complicated emotions at such a young age and not talking about it to anyone. I felt embarrassed and scared and worthless. I finally opened up about it to my mother and we had a very important conversation; one that was much needed. This was another eye opening experience. It was in this moment that I knew I my calling was to help children in the future who have gone through events that have given them confusing and scary mental health problems. I turned to the study of Psychology and plan on pursuing this major in college in order to one day create my own practice that offers as much support as it can to those who need it. My trauma is what created my goal: To spread positivity and change throughout the world and to save and change lives in the process. Each day I wake up with this mindset. I try to be the best version of myself every single day and offer support to anyone who needs it. I feel driven to this goal. I want this more than anything else in the world. I always tell myself, after everything, the schooling, the hard work, the sleep light nights, the setbacks, everything...if I can just help one person in this world and leave them with a positive mental space, then everything will be worth it. The very thing that broke me is what now inspires me to make a difference. I will accomplish my goals and I will make this world a better place in the process.
    Darryl Davis "Follow Your Heart" Scholarship
    As a child, I unfortunately was subject to sexual assault by my sister’s high school friend. I was so young it was so long ago that I don’t even remember how the situation became known to my family. What I do remember was staying silent and just being scared to talk. The aftermath was even worse; I felt cynical of the world around me, I just felt so much hatred. Then, after years and years of allowing this form of emotion build up inside me, I finally had a talk about it with my mom and it actually helped. This is when I knew, I felt my calling was to be a Psychologist. I believe I probably have underlying mental health problems aligned with what happened to me as a kid and through neglect and keeping things in, they got worse over time. I want to use my education to prevent this. I want to be able to offer a platform for children with a plethora of different problems the chance to correct or better these things before they reach a point that they can no longer do that, or to the point where it’s just so difficult that they give up. My goal is to eventually earn a Master’s or Doctorate’s degree in Psychology and open up my open practice for it. I even want to have a hotline specifically for my practice that would hopefully be up 24/7 to provide free and caring advice to anyone who needs it or even provide someone with a simple conversation if they need it. I felt depression and sadness for too long and I want to do everything in my power to stop others from feeling this way. My ultimate goal in life? To spread positivity and happiness into the world and change and maybe even save lives during the process. If after everything, school, college, opening up my practice, everything...if I were to bring positive change to only one person, everything would be worth it. All I strive to do is help those in this world who feel like they have no one to turn to or think they have been overlooked. I know I will accomplish these things with the education I will receive in College and I hope I will inspire others along the way to want to change and better the world in their own respective ways.
    Hailey Julia "Jesus Changed my Life" Scholarship
    I don’t believe I was an atheist, but I definitely wasn’t a firm believer. Sure, I spoke of God and Jesus, but I always thought religion was another silly thing and didn’t take it seriously. I liked to challenge other people’s beliefs and act as if I was an atheist. Today, I am proud to say that person is long gone and that mindset has been abolished from my head space. I was unfortunately subject to sexual assault as child and I always used this to prove God and Jesus did not care about me because how could they let this happen to me? I soon came to understand that this was not what was occurring. I was not abandoned, I was found. Jesus was always around me, guiding me, helping me. I was just too full of hatred and despair to see it. I wanted to act edgy and pessimistic of the world, but that was not getting me anywhere. I believe it was around my Sophomore year of high-school that I finally came to the realization that Jesus and God were there with me at every step. I was blessed academically, socially, and mentally. I knew I was wrong to have thought the thing I did before, so I decided to ask for forgiveness and I believe I received it. Ever since then, I have began to repair my relationship with Jesus. This relationship has brought so much joy in my life. I don’t always pray on the daily, although I should, but I do speak to God every single day. I could be at work, in school, walking at a park, and I will find a way to strike up a conversation with God. It could be about anything, but just knowing he is there listening to my every word with complete focus gives me so much comfort and makes me feel heard. Ever since my relationship with Jesus and God has increased, it has made me want to be a better person with goals to change the world. Evolving my way of thinking and growing my love for Jesus and God has changed my mindset and life for the better and I plan to turn around and spread this positivity throughout the world.