Youngstown, Ohio – The Mahoning County Board of Mental Health and Recovery is looking to increase minority representation in the areas of social work and mental health through a new scholarship program.
The Youngstown Chapter of the Links Mental Health Studies Scholarship will distribute $5,000 annually to black students pursuing a degree in social work at Youngstown State University, according to a press release. Full-time students will be eligible for $1,000 and $500 for part-time students.
Students must have a 2.5 GPA, be a traditional or non-traditional student, be of African American descent, attend or plan to attend YSU, reside in Mahoning County and complete the application process.
“We are pleased to launch this new scholarship program with the support of the Youngstown Ohio chapter of Links, Incorporated. There is a huge need to develop a workforce for our agencies that represents the people we serve, and this is a step A task we can take to address it.”
“There is already a growing demand for social workers and mental health professionals, and even more so for people of color in those professions,” added Valerie Burnie, coordinator of community engagement and outreach on the board. “This new scholarship will allow us to help make a difference not only in the lives of students who are pursuing a career, but also in the community they will ultimately serve.”
click Here To find out more and apply. Applications are open until April 24, 2022. The first round of scholarships will be awarded in May 2022.
The Youngstown Ohio Connections, an organization committed to enriching and sustaining the culture and survival of people of African descent in Mahoning and Trimble counties, is working with the Mental Health Board to help distribute scholarship funds.
“The Board of Directors has seen a significant alignment with the Youngstown chapter of Links, Incorporated to help us distribute these scholarships,” said Chairman Ann Cobain. “The reason for this scholarship is that we see education as justice. For the African American people, it is a force of change for equity and inclusion. As one of the oldest African American nonprofit organizations in the country made up of professional black women, they understood the need for equality not only in access to care, but in this case access to education. We will be able to help students who may not have had the opportunity to study in the field of social work to receive that education. It is an actionable need in this community and that is what we get with this scholarship from the Council on Mental Health and recover.”
Jamie Bledsoe, Director of Scholarships and Head of Youth Services at Youngstown Links, will work with the Board of Directors on the scholarship effort.
“One of the biggest issues right now is the mental health and disparities in access to care for minorities, especially African Americans,” Bledsoe said. “I think for a long time there has been a struggle in the African American community to even talk about mental health issues let alone seek care. So with this grant, we can help bring more equity to the mental health professions in the Mahoning Valley.”
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.