Andrew Perez Mental Illness/Suicidal Awareness Education Scholarship

Funded by
Jesus Perez
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 14, 2022
Winners Announced
May 15, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student

Andrew Perez was a beloved son who passed away too soon due to suicide and mental illness.

Andrew enjoyed being active outdoors and used biking, basketball, and skateboarding to cope with stress. Although Andrew eventually lost his battle with his mental health, he would have wanted to help others overcome their own struggles with mental illness. 

This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Andrew Perez by helping students push through their mental illnesses and pursue their education. 

Any BIPOC high school or undergraduate student who struggles with mental health may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us about your passions and coping mechanisms as well as your goals for the future.

Published December 31, 2021
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 14, 2022
Winners Announced
May 15, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, High School
Recent scholarship winners
Essay Topic

​​Please tell us about your passions and how you cope with your mental illness. What are some of your goals and aspirations for your future?

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

May 2022

Maria Hendren
Arizona State University Online
Chicago, IL
sydnie smith
Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, LA
Amyali Castro
Newark Collegiate Academy
New Brunswick, NJ
A. Camille Egnor
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
North Las Vegas, NV
Justice Morris
The University of Texas at Austin
Portland, TX
Donald Day
Bishop Hartley High School
Columbus, OH
Kate Kennelly
California State University-Long Beach
Long Beach, CA
Jesus Martinez
Arroyo High School
El Monte, CA
Parker Jakel
Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa, CA
Lauren Bernstein
Milken Community School
Los Angeles, CA
Axton Brown
Mountain View High School
Lawrenceville, GA
Karolla Galindo
Miami Dade College
Miami, FL
Naindii King
Booker T. Washington High
Norfolk, VA
Lisset Muñoz
Fallbrook Union High School
Fallbrook, CA
jessica koyner
Weston High School
Weston, CT
Noah Sylvia
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
William Torres
Northampton Area Hs
Northampton, PA
Samantha Salinas
Trabuco Hills High
Mission Viejo, CA
Caleb Garcia
Travis B Bryan H S
Bryan, TX
Miguel Cuevas
Addison Trail High School
Addison, IL
Alaytha Perez
James Madison High School
Graham, TX
Keely Franco
New Home School
Lubbock, TX
Michael Phillips
Cass Technical High School
Detroit, MI
Slywenda Geeston
Belhaven University
Pearl, MS
Maribel Aguirre
Milford High School
Milford, NH
Kadin McElwain
American High School
Murfreesboro, TN
malik belle
Trinity High School
Harrisburg, PA
Julia Long
Central Christian College of Kansas
Newton, KS
Jesse Pleytez
University of California-Berkeley
Los Angeles, CA
Morgan Mitchell
Newton High School
Bon Wier, TX
harley brewer
Alvord High School
Alvord, TX
Sarah Omoyugbo
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Queens, NY
Shereen Shahid
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Troy, MI
Melissa Salinas
Prosper H S
Denton County, TX
Trishana Maharaj
Dawson-Boyd Secondary
Dawson, MN
Heather Schlinker
Southern New Hampshire University- Online
Sherwood, AR
Kehinde Ejio
California State University-Northridge
Los Angeles, CA
Nizar Mouradi
Dallas County Community College District
Murphy, TX
Madeline Lopez-Elwell
California State University-Monterey Bay
Jurupa Valley, CA
Karthikeyan Malmurugan
Central Washington University
Kent, WA
Esther Gonzalez
Orthopaedic Hospital
Los Angeles, CA
Chyna Simmons
Elizabeth City State University
Chesapeake, VA
Alin Joseph
Tennessee State University
Tampa, FL
Taytum Camacho
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
Providence, RI
Pamela Enriquez
El Paso Community College
El Paso, TX
Sage Fast Dog Jr.
Todd County High School - 01
Mission, SD
Stephon Boodoo
Eagan High School
Eagan, MN
Ching Li
California State University-Northridge
Los Angeles, CA
Maniyah Surrell
Skyline High School
Antioch, CA
Cortaveon Martin
Riverdale High School
Murfreesboro, TN
Jess Imme
California State University-Chico
Beverly Hills, CA
Kaia Perez
Florida Atlantic University High School
Boynton Beach, FL
Maria Fernanda Garcia Sanchez
Northern Illinois University
North Aurora, IL
Martha Daughtrey
Martin Methodist College
Nashville, TN
Chukwuemeka\ Obizuo
Prince George's Community College
Bowie, MD
Carlie Griffith
Morgan State University
Burlington, NJ
Anthony Hooker
Lynnwood High School
Lynnwood, WA
Yessenia Perez Garcia
Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque, NM
To'nyia Richardson
Howard University
Louisville, KY

Winning Application

Yaniris Garcia
University of South Florida-Sarasota-ManateeBradenton, FL
For some people, the most difficult thing they have done is running a marathon, finishing college, or raising a family but for me, it was staring into my parent's eyes and confessing that since the age of eleven I had been struggling with depression. How do you tell the humans who love you the most and brought you onto Earth that you don't want to live anymore? What I feared was my parent's lack of knowledge of mental health causing them to ignore my feelings or even worse to "prescribe" me a dose of prayers instead of taking my illness seriously. The words were almost trapped in the back of my throat and for months I had put off this conversation. I thought of all the sacrifices my family had made for me by immigrating to America and being the first in my family to attend college. My grandmother passed away with only a first-grade education and she never got the chance to learn how to read and write. The guilt was almost impossible to swallow. My advice as a depression veteran is to speak up to anyone and everyone who will listen about your mental health. I do this with my own circle of family and friends but also through my youtube channel where I make videos on college advice and how I handle my own depression with a busy course load. Take the first baby step and talk about your mental illness because that's one of the best things you can do. Tell your parents and family how your symptoms affect you, how you feel, and most importantly how they can support you. Some people might not entirely understand you or even make hurtful comments, find the people in your life who can support you and ignore the rest. I also fight my depression by trying to spend time in nature for at least 15 minutes daily. This small but mighty habit helps to keep me distracted from dark thoughts, provides me with much-needed sunlight, and grounds me with the beauty of nature. Doctors will tell you to exercise daily and eat a healthy diet but when even brushing your teeth is a hurdle exercising can feel too overwhelming, instead try stretching in bed and celebrate your tiny accomplishments, treat yourself like your best friend would. Forgive yourself for what you could not accomplish. Through encouragement from my family I dared to reach out to a therapist and ask for help, statistics show that a person can suffer from depression for ten years before they ever seek professional help. By the time I was able to see a therapist covered by my insurance it had been over 6 months from the peak of my mental health crisis, for those going through a crisis 6 months is entirely too long to receive help.' My dream is to finish my bachelor's degree so I can continue my education and serve others struggling with mental illnesses as a clinical psychologist by opening up my own community-based behavioral health center. I would love to be able to take my suffering and use my bilingual skills to provide support for impoverished and underrepresented communities. Mental health is just as valid as any other illness and it's time we took it seriously and reinvented how we manage behavioral healthcare.