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 2021 scholarship application is now closed, and the next application period will begin in January 2022. For reference, the following items are required in applications:                                                                 

  • 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

“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