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Maya Taylor

3025

Bold Points

13x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ~Mr. Rogers When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My great passion is bringing healing and understanding to people and helping them find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their relationships. My passion for helping people increase their mental wellness is why I am a psychology major at Kennesaw State University. My goal is to attend graduate school and pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. When I’m not studying, I enjoy singing, dancing, social media, and most of all, volunteering in my church and community.

Education

Kennesaw State University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
  • GPA:
    3.4

New Manchester High School

High School
2017 - 2021
  • GPA:
    3.7

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions
    • Biopsychology
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
    • Psychology, Other
    • Education, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Clinical Counseling or School Psychologist

    • Retail Associate

      Marshalls
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Cashier

      Ingles
      2019 – 20201 year

    Sports

    Soccer

    Club
    2012 – 20197 years

    Awards

    • Best Defensive Player

    Research

    • Psychology, General

      Kennesaw State University — Student Assistant
      2022 – Present

    Arts

    • FAME Mastery Chorus

      Music
      2018 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Beta Club — Member
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Church — Lead and serve youth within various church programs and activities, such as children’s care and Bible study classes.
      2018 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Food Pantry — Volunteer
      2018 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Mattie's Way Memorial Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I am currently a rising junior at Kennesaw State University, majoring in psychology. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? I think that it is important to have good counselors and therapists for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. The first thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I want to be the person who helps to open up educational and community resources about mental health to make things better. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers and the creation of positive interventions that are sustainable to increasing quality of life. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be attributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Dr. Meme Heineman Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I am currently a rising sophomore at Kennesaw State University, majoring in psychology. I believe I deserve the Dr. Meme Heinemann Scholarship because I am an innovative problem solver, and as I have learned about positive behavior supports in my studies, I believe it is the best practice to foster collaboration between families, communities, schools, and organizations to create meaningful interventions. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? I think that it is important to have good counselors and therapists for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. The first thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I want to be the person who helps to open up educational and community resources about mental health to make things better. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers and the creation of positive interventions that are sustainable to increasing quality of life. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be attributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With the Dr. Meme Heinemann Scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    Recently, I visited my doctor for my annual physical. He asked me about college and my major. When I told him I was majoring in psychology, he said that there aren’t enough good psychologists and psychiatrists, particularly those who take various health insurance plans. I began thinking about what needs to be done to solve this problem. The first thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments and public schools. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, there should be partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be attributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). With this scholarship, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but my junior year of high school was suddenly interrupted when the COVID epidemic began. I had to attend high school digitally my senior year as well. During this time, I really struggled. I am a “social butterfly,” and I was also heavily involved with our fine arts magnet chorus program at school. I had a difficult time. Our performances were cancelled. I was not able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to. My emotions fluctuated between anxiety and depression. As much as I love technology, I found myself dreading virtual classes. They just were not the same as person-to-person contact. I found myself feeling so isolated and confined to the point where I needed to talk to someone. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, but during this time I realized that many of my peers didn’t have the options or support that I have. In my first semester at Kennesaw State, my roommate contracted COVID within the first month. She had to quarantine and miss several days of school; I had to move out temporarily so that my dorm could be thoroughly cleaned. I was tested but I was negative. Less than 2 months later, a close friend contracted COVID, and I had to be tested again. Again, I was negative. Fortunately, I have been vaccinated, and I take multivitamins and try to eat well to boost my immune system. Still, I’ve seen so many people, both those who are diligent and those not so, have to adjust their lives and schedules because of COVID. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Recently, a girl in tenth grade confided that she is still going to school digitally because her mother has an autoimmune disease. Both of her parents have been working from home as well. She feels that because of the pandemic, her entire family has been forced to change their lives. Her parents are also contemplating divorce, and she feels that it is because of COVID and being around each other all the time with little outlet. This young lady is so frustrated with her home life and her parents’ divorce, that the only way she felt she could release her anger was to cut herself. When her mom found out, her initial reaction was not to seek help from a doctor or counselor, but to reprimand her daughter for “seeking attention.” Pride and the stigma of being “special” or “crazy” prevents people from seeking help for themselves or their loved ones. Often, people do not understand the spectrum of mental health concerns, whether situational, biological, or chemical. People should not feel embarrassed when they need professional counseling and/or medication for mental health concerns. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I completed Psychology 1101 my first semester with an A. I aspire to complete my undergraduate studies and apply to graduate school to complete a master’s degree in either school psychology or clinical psychology. This scholarship will help me pay for my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Lillian's & Ruby's Way Scholarship
    COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but when COVID shutdowns began, I had to school digitally. I had a difficult time. I was not able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tried to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realized that many of my peers didn’t have the options or support that I have. I volunteer with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. A young girl in middle school confided that she was so frustrated with her home life and her parents’ divorce, that the only way she felt she could release her anger was to cut herself. When her mom found out, her initial reaction was not to seek help from a doctor or counselor, but to reprimand her daughter for “seeking attention.” Pride and the stigma of being “special” or “crazy” prevents people from seeking help for themselves or their loved ones. Too often, people do not understand the spectrum of mental health concerns, whether situational, biological, or chemical. Having the need for professional counseling and/or medication for mental health concerns should not be an embarrassment. It is also important to have access to good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. I believe that schools should have more school counselors and school psychologists on staff to assist families and children. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Presently, particularly at the high school level, school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. All of these things would be a start to increasing mental health professionals and educating the public. I am enrolled at Kennesaw State University, and I am majoring in psychology. I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my master’s degree in school counseling or school psychology. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens in schools. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am recently completed AP Psychology my senior year of high school to better prepare me for my initial college classes. This scholarship will help me pay for my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Future Female Educators Scholarship
    COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but when COVID shutdowns began, I had to school digitally. I had a difficult time. I was not able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tried to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realized that many of my peers didn’t have the options or support that I have. I volunteer with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. A young girl in middle school confided that she was so frustrated with her home life and her parents’ divorce, that the only way she felt she could release her anger was to cut herself. When her mom found out, her initial reaction was not to seek help from a doctor or counselor, but to reprimand her daughter for “seeking attention.” Pride and the stigma of being “special” or “crazy” prevents people from seeking help for themselves or their loved ones. Too often, people do not understand the spectrum of mental health concerns, whether situational, biological, or chemical. Having the need for professional counseling and/or medication for mental health concerns should not be an embarrassment. It is also important to have access to good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. I believe that schools should have more school counselors and school psychologists on staff to assist families and children. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Presently, particularly at the high school level, school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. All of these things would be a start to increasing mental health professionals and educating the public. I am enrolled at Kennesaw State University, and I am majoring in psychology. I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my master’s degree in school counseling or school psychology. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens in schools. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am recently completed AP Psychology my senior year of high school to better prepare me for my initial college classes. This scholarship will help me pay for my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in education and accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be traced to struggles with emotional and mental health. Our system badly needs reform. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but my junior year of high school was suddenly interrupted when the COVID epidemic began. I had to attend high school digitally my senior year as well. During this time, I really struggled. I am a “social butterfly,” and I was also heavily involved with our fine arts magnet chorus program at school. I had a difficult time. Our performances were cancelled. I was not able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to. My emotions fluctuated between anxiety and depression. Everything was digital. As much as I love technology, I found myself dreading virtual classes. They just were not the same as person-to-person contact. I found myself feeling so isolated and confined. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tried to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realized that many of my peers didn’t have the options or support that I have. In my first semester at Kennesaw State, my roommate contracted COVID within the first month. She had to quarantine and miss several days of school; I had to move out temporarily so that my dorm could be thoroughly cleaned. I was tested but I was negative. Less than 2 months later, a close friend contracted COVID, and I had to be tested again. Again, I was negative. Fortunately, I have been vaccinated, and I take multivitamins and try to eat well to boost my immune system. Still, I’ve seen so many people, both those who are diligent and those not so, have to adjust their lives and schedules because of COVID. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Because our church is fairly large and has a lot of elderly and youth members, we’ve still been having church virtually. This allows me to still meet with younger youth in our church. Recently, a girl in tenth grade confided that she is still going to school digitally because her mother has an autoimmune disease. Both of her parents have been working from home as well. She feels that because of the pandemic, her entire family has been forced to change their lives. Her parents are also contemplating divorce, and she feels that it is because of COVID and being around each other all the time with little outlet. This young lady is so frustrated with her home life and her parents’ divorce, that the only way she felt she could release her anger was to cut herself. When her mom found out, her initial reaction was not to seek help from a doctor or counselor, but to reprimand her daughter for “seeking attention.” Pride and the stigma of being “special” or “crazy” prevents people from seeking help for themselves or their loved ones. Too often, people do not understand the spectrum of mental health concerns, whether situational, biological, or chemical. Having the need for professional counseling and/or medication for mental health concerns should not be an embarrassment. I believe that COVID has highlighted these needs in all areas of society. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I recently completed Psychology 1101 my first semester with an A. I aspire to complete my undergraduate studies and apply to graduate school to complete a master’s degree in either school psychology or clinical psychology. This scholarship will help me pay for my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health, and I took AP Psychology in high school to better prepare me for my initial college classes. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends. Last year, I attended school digitally from March 2020 until May 2021. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them in person was very hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. Prior to COVID, I helped with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, because we are a large church and have so many elderly members, and we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. I intend to use my experiences and training in psychology to be an advocate for community and policy changes in mental health. I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Shine Your Light College Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health, and I took AP Psychology in high school to better prepare me for my initial college classes. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends. Last year, I attended school digitally from March 2020 until May 2021. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them in person was very hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. Prior to COVID, I helped with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, because we are a large church and have so many elderly members, and we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. I intend to use my experiences and training in psychology to be an advocate for community and policy changes in mental health. I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Lillie Award
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. I will be a advocate for community and policy changes in mental health. I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and school psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Darryl Davis "Follow Your Heart" Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. One thing that I would like to do is advocate for mental health counselors at all public health departments. This would help make counseling more widely available to the public. Another solution is to hire more counselors at each school. Presently, it seems as though school counselors and psychologists spend more time scheduling and testing and not enough time meeting the social-emotional needs of students. Schools should have local and state resources available to refer students and families to when their needs cannot be fulfilled by the school system. I’d also petition for more training for local and school employees about various mental health needs and how to recognize when to refer students and families. To encourage people to pursue mental health and social service careers, I’d also advocate for more funding for mental health and for partial or complete student loan forgiveness for people who enter the mental health field and complete required years of service. One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. While many focus on accessible health insurance, I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when people think “healthcare,” they don’t often include mental health. Mental health providers, whether counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. Many physical health problems can be contributed to struggles with emotional and mental health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems in my community.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I recently completed AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    JuJu Foundation Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I recently completed AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. The need for better mental health inspires me to achieve my goal to help to open educational and community resources about mental health.
    Susy Ruiz Superhero Scholarship
    A teacher doesn’t just educate and share their knowledge and wisdom, but a teacher also inspires and motivates. A teacher gives you faith and implants a love for learning. My superhero is all of these things and more; she’s not only my teacher, but she is also my mother. My mother has raised my brother and me pretty much on her own, sometimes working two jobs to support us. She's never missed a soccer game, chorus performance, band competition, or dance recital. No matter how tired she is from working or grading, she always stops to connect with us. My mother teaches high school English, and she is also a part-time college instructor. When I began high school, my mother began teaching at the same school. Until then, I never wanted my mom to be in “teacher-mode” with me! I just wanted her to be “mom.” High school was my first time in the same school as my mother. At first, I felt that just her presence in the same building infringed on my privacy with my friends and my space. Of course, my mom did none of that, but as a teenager, that was my perception. My junior year of high school, my mother encouraged me to take a course that she was teaching. By then, I was used to my mother’s presence at school. She struck a good balance between being there when I needed her, yet allowing me my own space. But being in class with my mom as the teacher? Nah. I was good. Strangely enough, because I was in the music magnet program, my schedule didn’t allow another elective. Dodged a bullet, right? Nope! Since our school had a lot of magnet students in the same position, they created weekend sessions for my mom’s class. I didn’t know what to expect being in a class with my mother as the teacher. I’d heard that my mom was a great teacher. We often go out in public, and her students from 15-20 years ago stop to speak and hug her. But in this class, I learned just how passionate my mom is! In class, my mother is a straight shooter and consistent the same way she is at home. She’s also loving and caring, and her students feel that. Our class focused on SAT/ACT prep and academic/career goal-setting. My mom spoke with students individually about their goals and plans, and she had activities to help us. It was very personal. I had taken for granted that I had a parent with knowledge and resources in this area while many of my classmates did not. I began to really admire my mom. She’s so engaging; it’s so hard for anyone to hate her. She relates everything to real-life experiences. We had speakers from different careers and colleges. A couple of the career speakers were my mom’s former students. We created 2 year and 5 year plans. We made vision boards for our personal, academic, and career goals. My mom’s class was so engaging and organized that I got all my work done while enjoying it. What’s more, my mom and I had even more to talk about when we went home. Prior to taking my mom’s class, if my mom tried to talk to me about my college or career goals, I’d have only seen her as a parent and probably rolled my eyes. However, being in my mom’s class helped me to see another side of her. She isn’t just my mom. She’s a woman, an advocate, a champion for everyone she teaches. She’s MY teacher.
    "Your Success" Youssef Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I recently completed AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health, and I recently completed AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Art of Giving Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I recently completed AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Taylor Ibarrondo Memorial Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Brandon Zylstra Road Less Traveled Scholarship
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. At one point, I became extremely depressed. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). My mom encouraged me to FaceTime my friends. I’m close friends with my neighbor’s grandsons, and last summer, our parents arranged for us to stand at the end of our driveways and communicated with each other. It seemed weird, but it was helpful just to see each other. I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    "What Moves You" Scholarship
    In the Book of Luke, chapter 12, verse 48 it says, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. When I was in middle school, my mom began taking me to regularly volunteer with our local food pantry and to donate items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became interested in what made people who they were: Genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). Many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better. For me, community service is not something I have to schedule or commit to; it is a way of life. Luke 12:48 is the way I was raised and taught to live.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. My mom regularly volunteers with our local food pantry, organizing canned food drives, and donating items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. I also developed a passion for working with people who experience food and housing insecurity. I began volunteering more with the food pantry and helping my mom organize and deliver canned food drives. In the richest nation in the world, no one should be without housing or food. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. Additionally, many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. My mom regularly volunteers with our local food pantry, organizing canned food drives, and donating items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. I also developed a passion for working with people who experience food and housing insecurity. I began volunteering more with the food pantry and helping my mom organize and deliver canned food drives. In the richest nation in the world, no one should be without housing or food. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. Additionally, many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Social Change Fund United Scholarship
    My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. My mom regularly volunteers with our local food pantry, organizing canned food drives, and donating items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. I also developed a passion for working with people who experience food and housing insecurity. I began volunteering more with the food pantry and helping my mom organize and deliver canned food drives. In the richest nation in the world, no one should be without housing or food. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. Additionally, many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Penny Collins Scholarship
    Winner
    My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. My mom regularly volunteers with our local food pantry, organizing canned food drives, and donating items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. I also developed a passion for working with people who experience food and housing insecurity. I began volunteering more with the food pantry and helping my mom organize and deliver canned food drives. In the richest nation in the world, no one should be without housing or food. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. Additionally, many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.
    Undiscovered Brilliance Scholarship for African-Americans
    My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. When I was younger, I both loved and hated this - I loved this because it meant that people trusted me. I hated it because sometimes it felt like people were not there for me in the same way. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for listening, being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. However, I have a very supportive family that I am close to, and my mom tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually). I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. I sometimes help with the youth ministry at my church, and I speak with young people who are struggling in one way or another. Right now, we are still having church virtually, so people do not have the person-to-person contact there. Some of my peers who already struggled with mental health issues are struggling even more. Other peers who didn’t struggle before seem to be struggling now. There isn’t enough available help. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. It is also important that those counselors know what community and mental health resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.