Total Donated So Far — $11,260
We are happy to announce the $2,500 Scholarship was awarded to Hannah Bronson who is currently enrolled in the PsyD program at the University of Denver.
The podcast team evaluated applications on three criteria: 1) past efforts to make the world a better place, 2) plans to make the world a better place, and 3) financial need. Hannah met all three criteria in full.
As a music therapist, she has dedicated herself to making the world a better place. She has helped older adults with dementia to reconnect with their loved ones by singing a song that reminds them of the past. She has helped homeless individuals in rural Jamaica find joy in playing drums. She has also helped soldiers suffering from PTSD express feelings of hope and resilience through songwriting. Through this work, she has heard service members’ stories, which includes leaving their families, engaging in combat, often losing comrades, and a profound change in their sense of self and belonging.
She is a pioneer in using music therapy with the military. She founded two programs on U.S. Army installations, published two articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at numerous conferences. She developed innovative ways to assist service members process the complexity of their experiences and traumas. When she was faced with systemic barriers, she set out to demonstrate the effectiveness of music therapy by conducting empirical research. Her work contributed to increased bipartisan Congressional appropriations, extending creative arts therapies to 11 clinical sites across the country, increasing access to care for service members and their families.
Her colleague, Rebecca Vaudreuil (Music Therapy lead of Creative Forces), wrote: “She has already accomplished so much in her early professional career through her selflessness and passion, touched the lives of people from all walks of life through her ability to connect with others.” Another colleague, Dr. Sara Kass (Senior Military and Medical Advisor of Creative Forces), wrote that she has already “directly improved lives through delivery of clinical care to over 800 individual patients. Additionally, her positive attitude and joyful spirit have improved the lives of the many professionals with whom she works.”
Regarding the future, she wrote, “I cannot envision a future doing anything other than being a supportive presence for those who are suffering.” She plans on continuing to serve military and veteran populations and their families since they are often misunderstood by healthcare professionals. She wants to innovate and push our field beyond the typical, archaic practices and values. She aspires to be a thought leader, inspiring new clinicians to think in different ways, challenge the status quo, and ask the difficult questions that drive research towards meaningful change.
We are happy to provide her with the scholarship because she is single, financially independent, and has used all of her savings (and then some) to move across the country 3 times and work a full-time unpaid internship. Although she will be working during her PsyD, she is happy to receive the assistance of the scholarship so she can focus more on her studies to become the most effective clinician possible.
After awarding her the scholarship, we were happy to learn that Hannah has been a dedicated listener for six years. She wrote that the podcast has been “an integral part of my continuing development as a clinician and human being. I can recall certain episodes that impacted me on such a deep level, and assisted in solidifying my philosophical approach to being a helping professional.”
It is our pleasure to award Hannah with the $2,500 Psychology in Seattle Podcast Scholarship of Aug 2019, so she can continue to make a positive difference in the world.
$2,000 PIS Podcast Scholarship of 2019
We are happy to announce the $2,000 PIS Podcast Scholarship of 2019 was awarded to Trenecsia Wilson who is currently enrolled in a PhD program.
This scholarship comes at an important time. She recently learned that she had reached the maximum loan limit for grad students. She panicked. She tried to find other ways to pay for tuition. She told me that her family is not privileged and is unable to help. She applied to several scholarships, including ours. However, after weeks of receiving no aid, she decided she would have to take a break from her doctoral studies. Upon receiving this scholarship award, she was elated, because she can now pay her tuition for next semester.
She’s already made a positive difference in the world, and we’re sure she’s going to do so much more. Although other opportunities are available to her, Trenecsia has chosen to work with marginalized families who live in communities suffering from poverty, racism, trauma, and gang violence.
After receiving her master’s degree, she returned to her childhood neighborhood in White Center - a marginalized Seattle neighborhood - to give back to her community by providing much needed mental health services and social justice advocacy. She doesn’t just provide services, but she also reaches out to increase access and reduce stigma, which is much needed in White Center.
As a person of color from that area, Trenecsia is especially adept at helping marginalized populations feel comfortable with counseling and other services. She has observed that even when families are connected with a clinician, that clinician is often not culturally aware of the issues these individuals face, which can diminish the client’s recovery and trust in the process. In addition to her outreach efforts and counseling services, Trenecsia has been working to solve this problem by providing consulting for organizations to help them provide a work environment that is equitable and inclusive for people of color.
I talked with one of her current professors who said she was “very diligent and professional” and works “above and beyond expectations.” She also said that many students shy away from social justice work, but Trenecsia forges ahead.
After graduation, she plans on becoming a professor to increase representation for African-American educators, which is a problem in our region. She plans on introducing and promoting policies and laws that reduce barriers for communities of color to receive mental health services. Also, she plans on providing education and supervision to help trainees develop cultural competencies, something that is sorely needed in our profession. Furthermore, she plans on expanding her cultural competency consulting to other organizations and schools.
Trenecsia comes from a family of helpers. Her mother works for King County Housing and her sister is a chemical dependency counselor. Trenecsia is a first-generation college student. She is the only person in her family to get a bachelor’s degree, let alone a master’s and doctorate. She is also a mother of two: a 7-year-old and a 1-month-old.
It is a pleasure to award Trenecsia with the $2,000 PIS Podcast Scholarship of 2019, so she can continue to make a positive difference in the world.
Petfinder Foundation — $2,000
Plymouth Housing Group — $2,910
Camp Ten Trees — $730
Trevor Project — $250
Special Olympics — $100
Give Big — $100
Union Gospel Mission — $300
Densho — $370