The One Day You Will Live Scholarship was createdto support and create life-changing opportunities for mental health and wellness. Read the story below.
The conception of this scholarship foundation began in 2020 with a dinner party to celebrate Whitney’s life and to give back hope to those who struggle with depression and suicidal ideation. 10 years prior, during her sophomore year in college, she was diagnosed with PTSD and MDD, and it was devastating. Whitney attempted suicide but her life didn’t end. She uses this experience to fuel the work she does in the community. While Whitney has done so much work to emphasize the importance of mental health treatment and access to quality and culturally competent services within her community she did even more work within herself to achieve true wellness. Whitney is most proud of the beautiful lives, relationships, and memoriesshe created.
There are so many people who battle this invisible illness. It’s so “normal” that we do not realize the negative effects until it is too late. We aim to assist with financial barriers to moving forward. Battling Mental Illness while attending school is tough and often the consequence is losing your funding. This Scholarship’s purpose is to provide hope to those who are suffering from Mental Illness and Suicidal Ideation. Experiencing trauma has stolen so many opportunities from you, Your Future belongs to you.
During her Celebration of Life, Whitney was able to raise $1,000! She received this as a calling to do more. What an Impact! Whitney organized an amazing team, with many skill sets and knowledge bases, in order to continue her efforts to give back and create life-changing opportunities. Each of the Board members are a living testament to this cause. Representation is important, having lived experiences provides us the ability to cater our requirements to remove any further hurdles to applying or staying in school.
Meet the Scholarship Committee
Whitney Dodds is the founder of Wellness for the Culture, a mental health practicein Springfield, MA. She has obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from American International College. Whitney is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Connecticut and a licensed mental health counselor in Massachusetts. Whitney is passionate about the well-being of people.
She is reaching people through her blog, community events, and therapeutic book club.Her desire to begin building her practice is derived from witnessing the cultural needsof her community. Whitney’s mission is to motivate, uplift, and educate people throughmental health services. Her approach is tailor-made to encourage engagement, within her community, all the while dismantling the cultural stigma that hinders black and brownpeople from receiving treatment.
Indira Dejesus, serving as the chair of the scholarship committee, is a licensed school counselor at Central High School in Springfield, MA. Ms. Dejesus holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Masters in Educational Psychology from American International College.
Prior to serving as a school counselor, Ms. Dejesus worked as a city-wide Graduation Coach for grades 9-10 and as an engagement specialist for students who had dropped out of high school. This experience allowed Indira to support hundreds of off-track students in earning their High School Diploma and pursue their post-secondary goals.Ms. Dejesus is currently a success coach for the 100 Males to College Initiative. Ms. Dejesus is passionate about helping young adults use their voice to transform their community. As a school counselor, Indira not only mentors students but also strives toset an example of perseverance as a Dominican-American woman native to Springfield and Graduate of Springfield Public Schools (Go, Commerce Red Raiders!)
Regina Renaye Kinney
Regina Renaye Kinney is the founder of Mindful + Melanated, an online community for Black women who need a safe space to tackle their unique issues around mental health and wellness. Regina has been battling depression and anxiety since childhood. Her first suicide attempt was at the age of 12.
As an adult, Regina muddled through life wearing a mask to hide what was really going on inside her. For a long time, she felt embarrassed and ashamed of her mental health diagnosis. On one hand, Regina often overcompensated for her depression by being an overachiever, and on the other hand, she tried to numb her pain by self-medicating. After getting out of a year-long depressive episode, Regina decided to share her story with the hopes of helping other Black women along in their mental wellness journeys. Because she is intimately knowledgeable about how mental illness affects Black women – and knows there is a need for Black women to congregate in a space specifically for them.
She founded Mindful + Melanated. Mindful + Melanated offers peer support and access to culturally competent mental wellness resources, providers, and programs. Regina earned her Bachelor’s degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and she currently resides in Randolph, Massachusetts.
Tiffany Liddell is a native of Springfield, MA. She graduated from Commerce High School in 2006. Tiffany received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work from Westfield State University. Tiffany has 10 years of work experience in the mental health field, working with children and families. Tiffany is currently a City Connect Coordinator for Springfield Public Schools, where she assists youth and families with getting both community services and supports in school. Tiffany’s one goal and passion is to help youth and families thrive in this world. She is married to Reverend Jeremy Liddell and they have adopted a terrier mix named Winston.
Here’s How You Can
Support The Scholarship
Whether you make a one time donation or sign up for a reoccurring contribution we appreciate your support for our cause.