Two SFASU Students Receive Prestigious Hogg Foundation Scholarships
March 30, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas – Two bilingual graduate social work students at Stephen F. Austin State University have received full-tuition scholarships from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in Austin.
Jael Cornelio of Tyler and Laura Tellez of Houston began their graduate studies in the spring 2010 semester. Both are pursuing their degrees to make a positive impact on mental health in Texas.
Research has shown people who speak a language other than English are under-represented in social work and other mental health professions in Texas and the United States. As a result, they are less likely to receive effective mental health services.
To begin addressing the shortage of bilingual mental health workers in Texas, the Hogg Foundation began offering the full-tuition scholarships in fall 2008 and has awarded 53 to date. Seven recipients, including Benjamin Glade from Stephen F. Austin, have graduated.
Cornelio plans to pursue a license in professional counseling and work with children and families in the adoption and foster care system. She previously was an intern in a clinic that provides counseling services, where she noticed several barriers to services for Spanish-speaking consumers.
"Barriers are not just due to language differences – other factors are trust between the professional and individual, cultural sensitivity and understanding of family roles and traditions, and confidentiality when other personnel, such as an interpreter, are brought into a session," Cornelio said in her application essay.
Tellez has worked as a family services worker at a local Head Start program and wants to provide counseling services to children and families who are dealing with cancer. She said Hispanics are underrepresented in social work and the impact she can make as a social worker in the Latino community will be huge.
"As a Latina, I know my culture is sometimes very orgullosos, or prideful, when it comes to asking for help, especially in the mental health aspect," Tellez said in her essay. "As a social worker, I want to be a voice for mi gente, my people. I want to let them know it is okay to have mental health problems, and that it is okay to get treated."
Cornelio and Tellez have agreed to work in Texas providing mental health services for a period equal to the timeframe of the scholarship as a condition of the award. Only new students are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which cover tuition and required fees. Recipients must be accepted by one of 11 accredited graduate social work programs in Texas and be fluent in Spanish and English.
To learn more about the application process and deadlines, contact eligible graduate schools: Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M University – Commerce, Texas State University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas – Pan American, and University of Texas at San Antonio.
The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James Hogg to promote improved mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation's grants and programs support mental health consumer services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.