Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship (2023)

Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship (1)

Winning Application

Gennaro Tecchia

University of California-DavisRaleigh, NC

Abena Bonsu

Quinsigamond Community CollegeWebster, MA

What truly is a smile-is it an authentic expression of one's feelings or is it a mask one dons at a moment's notice? During sophomore year, my smile was the latter— it only told the story of what I wanted people to see. I smiled through it all: my contradicting feelings of knowing I could do better but being complacent in my situation, my desperation to be above average in school, and anxiousness about my future. Day after day passed as I felt a heaviness upon my back. The weight was compounded by the ingredients of my own identity: female, black, studying at a small school, and constantly battling imposter syndrome. I soon realized I could turn these “blanks” of mine into ammo. For my community, my home, my school, and the beautiful children I teach at my church. Junior year, I decided to seek support and become better. I knew that I could either pick myself up or continue to wallow in my sadness. When others smile at me, I know that I want to genuinely smile back at them rather than putting on a grinning facade. The Health Professions Recruitment & Exposure Program (HPREP) at Harvard Medical School enabled me to learn about the vast disparities in healthcare especially with mental health. It was the first time I was immersed in a sea of peers who shared a wide range of backgrounds and some that echoed with my own: I finally understood that Iack of coming from a privileged family is not a detriment or barrier to my success and that doctors are not the only ones who can work to improve other’s lives. To be surrounded by people who look like me and stem from different backgrounds whilst doing what I dream to do was eye-opening and insightful. This formative experience helped me transform. I become more keenly aware of my surroundings and my own abilities. I wanted to continue to use what I’ve acquired to make a difference. In a world that had been confined to my bedroom since March 2020, I wondered how to contribute my part to the wreckoning about inequalities in healthcare and on the stigmatization of mental health. I settled on starting with what I know: social media and my immediate contacts. I knew my best chance at getting at people's hearts was to start with those who I know. I started sharing more articles on social issues and mental health on Instagram and grew a following. I will continue to spread awareness through those means. The injustices revealed in healthcare, immigration, and basic human rights reminded me exactly why I want to help to build a more just world for all, especially those who are most vulnerable.

romeo gulefua

Grand Canyon UniversityCincinnati, OH

As a child, my passion was to be a teacher. I had a profound desire to help my friends discover new methods to learn and acquire knowledge. However, I struggled with a speech impediment and was unable to articulate certain sounds and pronounce certain syllables. This developed a deep-seated insecurity within my young mind and led me to believe I could not achieve my dream. I began to shy away from talking to people, and I decided to focus on studies that required little to no speaking. On the other hand, I was also inspired by my father who is a civil engineer. I came to the conclusion as a child, that if I could not speak fluently enough to become a teacher, I could use my intellect and become an outstanding engineer in construction just like my father. With this in mind, I naturally gravitated towards mathematics and high school. In 2009 I moved to Ukraine to further my studies and completed a bachelor's in construction science as well as a master's of science in construction management. At this point I was able to speak four languages fluently: French, English, Russian, and Lingala. With time I had developed strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact and connect with people of various backgrounds and my childhood struggles had become only a distant memory.I had worked on different projects as a civil engineer, of note I worked for “Gauff Ingenieur” a construction company based in Congo where I worked under the mentorship of my father. Here in the states, I deviated from my construction training and worked for Mitsubishi Electric. Over time I began to realize that I did not have a burning desire to work as an engineer. It slowly dawned on me that the profession did not interest me; it was my perception of the profession that had caught my fancy. Luckily, by then I had developed a good rapport with the majority of my colleagues and my reputation preceded me. My coworkers would come to me for advice, suggestions, and counsel on a variety of issues such as trouble with their children, marriage issues, or an addiction they were dealing with. I began focusing my personal studies on counseling, psychology, and behavior analysis, this further piqued my interest. In August 2019, I was ordained as the Lead Pastor of Blueprint Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a way, my childhood dream of becoming a teacher had been accomplished was. It was another mind-blowing experience to get to realize that as a pastor that most issues people deal with were more psychological than spiritual. Serving as a pastor helped me admire and value the art of counseling, psychology, and behavior analysis. The church gave me the opportunity to get exposure to more detailed and deep-oriented conversations with different people in my community that needed someone to talk to. I found that this was what gave me a sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. My goal since then became to acquire the necessary knowledge in order to be fully equipped and able to serve my community. In personal studies, I found that what excites me the most about psychoanalysis is the investigations, dissections, and understanding of problems that is around me in the world. I came to the conclusion that proper psychology courses would equip me in developing adequate knowledge on psychopathology, personality, and behavior analysis. I'm currently enrolled for a master's degree in clinical mental health and counseling to be able to serve my state in the future skillfully and effectively.

Amari Phillips

Paul Laurence Dunbar High SchoolDayton, OH

Amari PhillipsEthel Hayes Scholarship Essay12 April 2022 I should receive this scholarship because I know I will succeed and bring a lot to the table. What I will become when I finally graduate high school is a versatile money maker. Including being a psychologist and athletic trainer after I attend college fully. To start, I’ve alway wanted to be a psychologist ever since I was six years old. After all the terrible trauma I went through and the detrimental experiences throughout my life, I decided I want to help people. It feels as though I need to help people now. I feel this way because I needed someone to talk to as a child and I had no one. A child should not be able to feel depression or know that emotion until he or she is older. In addition to this, there are those who just need help mentally. I would like to make them know that they are okay. That they are not alone. Growing up, unfortunately, All I really had were my siblings. My mother didn’t want me around my father so he wasn’t in the picture for fourteen years. The last time I saw him before high school was at the age of 6 years old. My stepfather went on a crazed fest of anger and beat my father to a pulp, soon beating him in the head with a pistol and breaking his arm out his sochet. My mother, when we did live with her, was usually gone at work or studying, and doing homework for what she majored in-in college. She graduated, unsatisfied with the degree she received. Unsatisfied because of stress, and pain- oh the unspoken straining pain… if not stress and pain, she would’ve had time to work harder, do better, and get the degree she really wanted. Soon after being evicted, we began moving from place to place in this small beautiful city. Although, everytime we moved, my mother would seem to fade more and more away. She began becoming more and more stressed and suffocated in her work. She was depressed. A single mother with four growing kids and no one to help her. Years passed and she met the best thing that happened to her. Yet she didn’t know it was the thing that would ruin her life. And she let it. Neglection came knocking softly at the door. She would lock herself in the dining area with...him. Soon, neglect came everyday. Along with this, she would let adolescence - or should I say anything happen. Things that most parents would say no to, she didn’t. Our beautiful mother who was once a grateful, work-hard spirit, was gone. She lost herself and let him take her down with him. My older brother's only way of helping us, his siblings, all he had, was to also be gone… off at practice, games, stealing food for us, just trying to find a way to help. He had to make it, he had to make it out. He had to show us that life is hard and life hurts. Although, if you work hard and KEEP working hard, everything will pay off in the end. And it did. Summer 16’, My mother sent us off to live with my brothers’ grandmother. Abandoned us. Gave us up. The pain in our hearts. The dreadful, aching pain. A few years passed. My brother graduated, went off to College states away. He then came back and started attending Wright State and Sinclair. My brother is my only role model. In addition to this, my two older siblings choosing their path, I have to choose mine. I used to be so angry, depressed, and most of all just… hurt. Everything, unmentioned and mentioned, just hurts. It hurts to not have the figures you need to maintain in life. It makes you have to grow up faster. And that’s what I did. Someone, that isn’t in my life anymore, taught me how to be happy again. In reality, I just feel relieved now, towards everything that made me angry and sad and hurt. I am relieved because so many nights, so many lonely nights of me crying myself to sleep, just got old to me. Overrated. Replayed and played out. I had to look at the bright side of things. Now, I am an electronic technician who is fully committed and accepted into Central State University, still striving to do and be my best at all times. My former psychology teacher told me that to be a psychologist making a nice amount, you would have to get a masters degree (six years). I accepted this statement and now I will challenge it and never give up. Although, I know I need a successful career beforehand. Since I play two sports and love to be on the field, I decided to get a 4 year degree in exercise science, to get my bachelors degree in athletic training. To top this off, this march, I am starting real estate classes and stocks. By the new year I should own a small portion of land inside a mall plaza or somewhere with great scenery where I am from, outside of dayton. My name and purpose will be known. I am determined to never work a nine to five by the time I turn 20 years old. Dayton isn’t the place to be. I look up to my brother because he made it out. He is successful and a senior in college. He is why I keep going. I will not have a hard life like my mother. With that being said , I definitely won’t let my mothers backfires and struggles that were put on us determine my future. Life is two short to have one downfall and give up. Life is too blissful to waste it. I will do whatever it is I have to do to achieve my goals and manifest everything I ever wanted.

Cody Killian

Liberty UniversityHamilton, OH

In 2016, my wife and I had our second child - a beautiful, baby girl. The months to follow incorporated many days and nights of struggle and disagreement between me and my wife. Nothing seemed to help our relationship. I felt so discouraged during that season of our life. It wasn't until she began speaking with her primary care physician that we realized that she was struggling with postpartum depression, which was compounded by challenges with anxiety pertaining to the fear of illness.The times of these challenges in our marriage helped me become a more patient and understanding person. This woman that I loved so much was struggling with changes and challenges that neither of us understood. We are people of faith and there are so many stigmas that are associated with mental health challenges in relation to being a Christian. We began to be totally aware of our own predispositions and biases toward those that struggled with mental health issues because it had now come to our home.In the present, we are able to see the world around us through the lens of love, grace, and patience because we are certain that we cannot possibly know what any individual may be dealing with internally or externally. We hope to continue making our personal sphere of influence aware of the patience that we all need with each other as we continue to develop, grow, and become who we are all aiming to be in our own ways.In the future, my hopes are tied to a career and dream where I can help those that are struggling with these sorts of issues. Being able to complete a Master's Degree and pursue a licensure to provide professional counseling services will allow me to be hands on with a dream to be a help to those in need. In addition, completion of this degree program will provide a means for the vision of my life in the future, both professionally and personally, to become a reality as we care for those who are in need of a soul that is familiar with their struggle, an ear that is willing to listen, and a voice that is determined to encourage.

Casen Lucas

New Home SchoolWolfforth, TX

Tyara M

University of Houston-Clear LakeHouston, TX


How do you answer why are you applying for this scholarship? ›

Tips for writing a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay
  1. Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. ...
  2. Focus on the purpose of the scholarship. ...
  3. Don't be afraid to promote yourself. ...
  4. Use a thesis statement, just like you would with any other essay.
Aug 3, 2022

Why do I need a scholarship? ›

Scholarships provide an opportunity for people to earn an education. Without assistance from an outside source, students may have trouble paying for the degree. Scholarships help students have more time to focus on their studies.

How do you write a 500 word scholarship essay? ›

The format of a 500-word scholarship essay is similar to a shorter essay. Each paragraph is about 75-125 words, and it consists of 3-5 well-written sentences. If you are writing a story or personal anecdote, the formatting can be more like a novel than a news article. It is ok to use 10% less or more words.

Why do I deserve a scholarship essay sample? ›

I have faced several challenges over the years, from dyslexia to homelessness; yet I continued to earn exemplary grades and graduate at the top of my class. I deserve this scholarship because I have the strength and determination to achieve my goals, no matter what hurdles I have to overcome.

What are 3 reasons why applying for scholarships is a good idea? ›

If you're on the fence about applying, here are a few more reasons to make scholarships part of your financial aid strategy.
  • Scholarships minimize student debt. ...
  • Scholarships can help fill the void left by public education funding cuts. ...
  • Scholarships can support equitable outcomes. ...
  • Scholarships can free up time for studying.
Nov 2, 2022

How do you say a scholarship will help you? ›

I am planning to work during my undergraduate degree, but I do wish to focus a lot of my time on my studies. This scholarship will help by lowering the costs of college and the amount of hours I'll need to work throughout my studies. This way, I'll be able to continue with my academic achievements.

What do you say in a scholarship application? ›

Scholarship Application Essay Tips
  1. Plan ahead. Don't procrastinate! ...
  2. Talk about your accomplishments. Be clear and to the point. ...
  3. State your need. What is your financial situation? ...
  4. Keep it simple. Don't use unnecessary words (i.e., don't use three words when one will do) ...
  5. Make it easy on your reader.

What is a good first sentence for a scholarship essay? ›

What is a good introduction sentence for a scholarship essay? The best choice is to write an attention-grabbing sentence. It should be something persuading or intriguing that will make a person continue reading your essay with great interest. Avoid long explanations or introductions.

How do you introduce yourself in a scholarship essay? ›

When introducing yourself in a scholarship essay, start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then, discuss how the scholarship will help your educational pursuits and how your education can help your career.

How should I start my essay? ›

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
  1. An opening hook to catch the reader's attention.
  2. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  3. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
Feb 4, 2019

Why are you applying for this program? ›

Include information about your skills and natural talents in your answer. Consider mentioning how your skills align with the subject matter. Focus on your unique strengths that could contribute to your success in the course. Discuss the skills you hope to further develop through the course.

How would you describe yourself to scholarship donors? ›

Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for. Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn't encourage education), etc.

How do you stand out in a scholarship interview? ›

They include:
  1. Being on time (or, even better, early)
  2. Dressing up.
  3. Having a good handshake.
  4. Being courteous and friendly.
  5. Taking your time.
  6. Not interrupting the interviewer before they finish asking the question.
  7. Bring the necessary supplies (pen, paper, folder, required materials, etc.)
Dec 22, 2022

How to describe your financial situation for a scholarship? ›

Body: Your financial situation and hardships

Make sure you describe your parents' occupation, any savings (like a 529 College Savings Account), and any student jobs. You might also discuss any sudden changes in fortune (e.g. parent fell ill or lost their job) that have ruined your original financial plans.


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