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  • Who is eligible for the scholarship?
    To apply, you must: • Be thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of entry. • Be currently enrolled (or enroll no later than February of 2025 unless deferring on a gap year) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher learning (college, university or trade school) anywhere in the world. • Have done or is in the progress of proactively doing acts or events consistent with Letters to Strangers' organizational mission statement. This includes choosing to major in a mental health-related field (psychology, psychiatry, social work, etc.) and/or engaging in mental health advocacy/activism on a personal, volunteer level. You will receive additional consideration if you: • are between the ages of 13 and 26, since Letters to Strangers primarily serves the youth demographic • identify as a minority or part of an underrepresented demographic in the mental health field • belong to a Letters to Strangers Chapter or partner organization
  • What if I'm younger than 18 and NOT enrolled in college by the next academic year?
    Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply for the award at this time (unless you are on an approved gap year). Check back in a few years! :) We love your enthusiasm.
  • What is meant by "2024/2025 school year" on the Eligibility Criteria?
    We use "2024/2025 school year" to describe the next academic year, and recognize that the next academic year can start at different times depending on where you are in the world. Therefore, think about when schools typically start a new year in your location (in North America, that's usually around September; in New Zealand, it's around the start of a new calendar year). Use that time frame as your reading of "2024/2025 school year".
  • What counts as a “minority” or “underrepresented demographic in the mental health field”?
    Because of the geographic, socioeconomic, sexual/gender, and racial/ethnic imbalances currently present in many countries' mental health fields, if you represent a rural area, come from a low-income background, belong to the LGBTQ+ community, belong to a marginalized minority religious group, and/or are of African, Arab/Chaldean, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, Islander, and/or Black Caribbean descent, you would be considered a “minority” or part of an “underrepresented demographic”. Note that this definition is a bit fluid depending on your country's demographics, so if you would like to clarify your situation to us, feel free to note so on your application.
  • What is the timeline of the scholarship?
    Applications open: February 5th, 2024 Applications close: April 1st, 2024 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Winner notified: Late April, 2024 Scholarship fund must be used within five years or will be forfeited by the winner
  • How will the winner be chosen?
    Letters to Strangers will review all applications and send a shortlist to an esteemed panel of judges. The judges will rank all applications based on the following criteria: Impact, Complexity, Wow factor/uniqueness, and Challenge (overcoming adversity). Letters to Strangers will then select the final winner based on the judges’ feedback.
  • Can I take a gap year?
    As long as you will matriculate at a post-secondary institution of higher learning and can prove that you are simply deferring your enrollment, yes!
  • Can I use this money for another organization?
    As this award is designed for academic, research, or otherwise personal scholarship purposes (like an individual-based advocacy effort), we will not accept any applications that seek to use this as a grant for external organizations.
  • I am currently applying to schools. What school should I list on the application?
    Your first choice school. We will confirm your school choice with you should you be a Winner.
  • How will the prize money be awarded?
    Each prize ($3000 USD for one grand prize winner, $500 USD for one runner-up winner, and $300 for 8 additional finalists) can be used all at once or be divided into installments. Each Winner will receive a check made payable to their school with the corresponding sum (unless otherwise determined that their prize is applicable for use on a personal advocacy project). The Winner will be responsible for ensuring that their school processes the check. The prize money is only for usage on tuition and other school-related fees, unless the winner chooses to use it for a personal project, in which case the check will be made payable to the winner. Note: The prize money will be awarded in USD unless circumstances require a different currency to be used. If so, any amount lost during the currency conversion will not be replaced, though of course we will seek to minimize such losses!
  • Do I need a Google Account to submit an application?
    While the Mental Health Warrior Scholarship doesn't require you to have a Google Account, the Mental Health Changemaker Scholarship does. This is because we ask for your resume and school transcript as part of your application, and a Google Account is required to upload materials. You can create a Google Account for free here. If this is not possible, please contact hi@letterstostrangers.org for technical assistance.
  • Can I upload an official transcript instead of an unofficial one?
    Of course! We ask for an unofficial transcript because it often costs money to receive an official transcript from your school, but we will certainly accept official as well as unofficial transcripts.
  • English is not my first language. Will I be at a disadvantage?
    Don't worry! We understand that many people have other preferred languages, and will take that into consideration when we assess your application. It's okay if your writing isn't the most perfect as long as we can understand what you are trying to convey and the depth and genuineness of your answers.
  • Have more questions but don’t see them answered here?
    Email clayton@letterstostrangers.org including “Changemaker Scholarship” in the subject line and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
  • Who is eligible for the scholarship?
    To apply, you must: • Be eighteen (18) years of age or older (or of the legal age of majority in their state of residence, whichever is older) at the time of entry • Have demonstrable difficulty due to finances, location, or other restrictive means to access or utilize professional mental health services. This will be verified upon selection of Winner You will receive additional consideration if you: • Are between the ages of 18 and 26, since Letters to Strangers primarily serves the youth demographic. This means that your entry will be given extra weight in the random drawing. • Belong to a Letters to Strangers Chapter or partner organization. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE ANISE HEALTH SCHOLARSHIPS, YOU MUST ALSO: • Be located in California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts or Washington state within the United States
  • What is the timeline of the scholarship?
    Applications open: February 5th, 2024 Applications close: April 1st, 2024 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Winner notified: Late April, 2024 The Grand Prize Scholarship fund must be used within five years or will be forfeited by the winner. Winners of the Anise Health scholarships must contact Anise Health within three months or forfeit the scholarship.
  • What are the Anise Health Scholarships?
    For the first time, in addition to our Grand Prize of $3000 USD for the Mental Health Warrior Scholarship, we are thrilled to bring additional prizes for entrants to the Warrior Scholarship with the help of our friends at Anise Health. These prizes are an extension of their Anise Health RestorAsian Scholarship. Ten entrants to the Warrior Scholarship will be randomly chosen to receive one of ten scholarship prizes for Anise Health services: 2 winners will receive 1 free month of Anise Health’s culturally-responsive integrated therapy and coaching (valued at $350 USD) 3 winners will receive $200 USD off their first month of care with Anise Health 5 winners will receive $100 USD off their first month with Anise Health Other than submitting an application to the Warrior Scholarship, you do not need to do any additional steps to be considered for these prizes. Note, however, that only those living in the United States and located in California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts or Washington state can be considered for these prizes due to where Anise operates. ABOUT ANISE HEALTH: Anise Health (Anise) is a culturally-responsive digital mental health platform building the gold standard of care for underserved populations, starting with a focus on Asian Americans. Hence, while its services can be used by anyone, it is particularly well-suited and designed for those of Asian descent. Anise delivers a holistic suite of evidence-based services to individuals by integrating online therapy, coaching and self-guided resources in each care plan. Their Machine Learning-driven tech platform personalizes each individual's journey, and their care model incorporates a deep understanding of culture and intersectionality into provider training and clinical interventions, which research shows to be 5x more effective than unadapted models of care. They also offer tailored group services (i.e. support circles, psychoeducation workshops) to universities, community organizations, and corporate enterprises to break down access barriers.
  • How will the winners be chosen?
    The Winners of both the Grand Prize and the Anise Health scholarships will be randomly selected from all eligible Entrants who followed the Terms and Conditions, with bonus weighting in the random draw for those eligible for additional consideration.
  • How will the prize money be awarded?
    GRAND PRIZE: The Grand Prize's prize money can be used all at once or divided into installments. Checks can be made payable to the healthcare provider of the Winner, or the Winner can reimburse mental healthcare-related costs after their expenses have been approved by Letters to Strangers. The prize money is only for usage on mental healthcare-related costs accrued within the six months prior to and five years after the individual has won the scholarship. Note: The prize money will be awarded in USD unless circumstances require a different currency to be used. If so, any amount lost during the currency conversion will not be replaced, though of course we will seek to minimize such losses! ANISE HEALTH SCHOLARSHIPS: Winners of these scholarships can claim their Anise Health service discounts directly through coordination with an Anise Health representative. Contact must be made with Anise Health within three months of winning the scholarship.
  • Do I need a Google Account to submit an application?
    Not for the Mental Health Warrior Scholarship! :)
  • What if I need help with finding the right healthcare provider and/or medication for me?
    Letters to Strangers is not a professional mental health service, so we will be unable to decide for you where to spend your prize money should you win this award. However, you are welcome to exchange ideas with us, and should we be able to offer you our thoughts, we will certainly do so.
  • I can’t find a fitting healthcare provider near me. Can I still use the prize money?
    You are welcome to use your Grand Prize money on teletherapy and other forms of remote healthcare, should you win this award and are interested in that option.
  • English is not my first language. Will I be at a disadvantage?
    Don't worry! We understand that many people have other preferred languages, and will take that into consideration when we assess your application. It's okay if your writing isn't the most perfect as long as we can understand what you are trying to convey and the depth and genuineness of your answers.
  • Have more questions but don’t see them answered here?
    Email clayton@letterstostrangers.org including “Warrior Scholarship” in the subject line and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
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