Scholarship Program

The Prochnow Foundation’s annual scholarship program seeks to reward one high-achieving student with a diagnosed mental illness with a $1,000 scholarship to a four-year college or full-length trade school. The foundation is proud and excited to reduce the financial burden of high-achievers in pursuit of their education, career, and personal development.

The 2025 scholarship application period will open in January 2025. To apply, please send the following to erik@prochnowfoundation.org:                                                                

  • Transcript showing a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.5
  • College or trade school acceptance letter
  • Recommendation letter
  • Essay of 250-500 words describing your long-term personal and professional goals and how you achieve at a high level with a mental illness

While we review every application, we are not able to respond to everyone due to the volume of applications we receive and our limited team size. Thank you for understanding!

“Hello! My name is Emelie Nguyen and I am from Roslyn, New York. In the fall, I will be joining Brown University’s Class of 2027. In my free time, I enjoy playing the electric guitar, perusing the depths of Reddit, and exploring Flushing with my friends! After grappling with obsessive-compulsive disorder for fifteen years, I have always been curious as to just why my mind behaved the way it did. However, the stigma surrounding mental health in the Asian community hindered me from seeking professional help earlier. After finally enrolling in therapy in seventh grade, I learned that the root of my behaviors was coping with feelings of disorder. Little by little, I regained the focus my condition stole from me and began to emerge as a leader in my own community. Since the beginning of high school, I have become deeply passionate about cultural competency in healthcare. As President of the New York State Leo Club, President of my school’s World Language Honor Society, and Biology Captain of my school’s Science Olympiad team, I have made it my mission to make medical knowledge accessible, especially to youth with ethnic backgrounds. Through the Leo Club, I have provided free health screenings to the predominantly Chinese community in Flushing with translation services. Additionally, I currently conduct research on racial health disparities and neurocognition at the Feinstein Institutes. Recently, I have started a blog series on my website where I share strategies I’ve used to manage compulsive behaviors and delve into my personal experiences as an Asian American student. Through my work, I hope to show other teenagers we are not alone in our struggles, and I hope to be a driving force for change for young people.”

Emelie Nguyen

2023 Prochnow Foundation Scholarship Recipient

“Hi! My name is Ashley Malvita and I am a first generation student from South Florida! I am EMT certified with hopes to attend Physician Assistant school and serve as one in the military. I played Club Lacrosse at UNC Chapel Hill where I was inducted into a family of remarkable teammates who encouraged and supported each other on and off the field. UNC’s community experienced a heartbreaking year of loss through a series of suicides. As a freshman, it was unearthly to hear other freshmen, including one of my friends, were losing their battles with mental health. I struggled immensely after my friend had passed and ultimately realized the gravity and merit of the people in our lives. Connecting with others is what allows us to heal and prosper, which is why I’m aiming to work with young adults to support them through their mental health journeys. I am a Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology double major set on also receiving a Behavioral Forensics Certificate. In high school, I was blessed with the opportunity to organize toy drives for the Mystic Force Foundation for childhood cancer research in North Miami. I aspire to continue my efforts with this childhood foundation as well as initiate my own for students struggling in college. Before I had even faced the hardest year of my life, I had written my graduation speech to advocate for mental health. I proudly began with, “I stand up here today not only as a representative of this class, but as a voice of this generation”, and parted with the words, “Don’t wait for happiness, find it”. The drive behind my advocacy has intensified within me over the last year and I hope, above everything else, that I can truly reach people with my efforts.”

Ashley Malvita

2022 Prochnow Foundation Scholarship Recipient

“Hello! My name is Faith Ajanaku and I am a Nigerian immigrant and activist for mental health, feminism, and racial justice. Starting fall of 2021, I will be part of Stanford University’s class of 2025. I want to dedicate my life to cultivating a better future for minorities, just as I did in high school. I am the founder of Modern Divergence – a nonprofit that advocates for neurodiversity and mental health within education and the medical industry. With representation from over 21 countries, we have reached over 17k individuals through social media and projects such as our mental health screenings. I also created The Formula to empower young girls in middle school through mentorship over topics such as gender disparities in careers, body and sexual positivity, and embodying confidence. From advocating for LGBTQ+ health and designing medical delivery robots, I have been honored nationally in hackathons, branding, and programming competitions. I am currently working on earning my EMT certification to continue working alongside medical professionals. Interested in both medicine and engineering, my goal is to diversify the biomedical industry for minorities of all kinds – race, gender, and mental condition.”

Faith Ajanaku

2021 Prochnow Foundation Scholarship Recipient

“Hi! My name is Jessica Yang, and I’m from Anchorage, Alaska. I’m so excited to be a part of Stanford University’s Class of 2024! When I’m not outside pretending to be a marathon runner, cross-country skiing, and enjoying the sunshine, I can be found baking vegetablized treats (black bean brownies!) and listening to stories. After experiencing weight loss disorder in high school, I became impassioned about increasing mental health awareness—especially as Alaska has one of the highest suicide and depression statistics in the nation. I became a Young influencer for the National Council of Behavioral Health’s CONNECTED destigmatization project, traveling to three national conferences to collaborate with communities nationwide on brainstorming mental health campaigns. I also became a Youth Alliance for a Healthier Alaska member who advised statewide public health agencies on creating more youth-centered health campaigns. Most importantly, I discovered the power of storytelling in helping end the stigma surrounding mental health. Hoping to inspire others to share their stories, I began helping lead storytelling discussions centered on mental health and self-advocacy. My experiences taught me that mental illness does not define us: we define our mental illness. This is the message I hope to continue spreading by exploring human biology, neuroscience, and ethnicity studies at Stanford University and beyond.”

Jessica Yang

2020 Prochnow Foundation Scholarship Recipient

“Hello! My name is Derek Zhou and I’m currently part of Washington University in St. Louis’s class of 2023. I’m originally from Palo Alto, CA, and in my free time I love to do theatre, hang out with my friends, and work at my local boba tea shop. Due to the several suicides that occurred in my community a few years ago and also due to my own personal struggles with mental illness, I’ve always been passionate about advocating for mental health awareness. So, for over a year now, I’ve been working with Stanford’s Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing as a youth advisor on their allcove initiative. This project is focused on making mental health services accessible to youth through integrated health care sites where any young person could seek help. And to make these locations truly youth-friendly, the Center’s staff has created a Youth Advisory Group that shares ideas for the facilities. Through my work with allcove, I’m now even more motivated to pursue mental health awareness as a profession. Specifically, I hope to major in neuroscience or psychology, and eventually attend medical school to become a psychiatrist.”

Derek Zhou

2019 Prochnow Foundation Scholarship Recipient