Clark Family Mental Health and Disability Scholarship

Purpose of Scholarship

To provide financial support for individuals working in or planning to work in the fields of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities within the eight-county area surrounding Rochester (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties) who wish to pursue a master’s degree in their field. The intent of this scholarship is to elevate the state of practice and increase the number of individuals serving in the fields of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities.

Application Period

November 1 to February 1

Number and Size of Awards

Number of recipients and award amounts vary; maximum award $7,500. The amount awarded will be based on the student’s actual cost of attendance, financial need, and receipt of other available grants and financial resources. Award paid in one lump sum in the Fall and divided equally between the Fall and Spring semesters.

Allowed Use of Award

Awards may be used for tuition, books, fees, and other graduate level educational expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

For individuals working in or planning to work in the fields of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities who are:

  • Employed, volunteering, or interning at a nonprofit organization in the eight-county area surrounding Rochester (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties);
  • Accepted or enrolled in a graduate program at an accredited school and planning to attend full time (9-11 credit) or part time (1 to 8 credits);
  • Working toward a clinical or administrative master’s degree that supports the fields of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, social work, nursing, OT/PT, HI/VI, psychology, and health administration;
  • Committed to working in the mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities fields for at least two years after obtaining their degreee; and in financial need.

Preference may be given to individuals currently providing front-line, direct care and/or those attending nonprofit public or private colleges and universities.

Application Process

The application process is coordinated through the Community Foundation.

To begin a new application, click here.

If you have already started an online application and would like to log in to your account to continue working, click here.

Committee/Selection Process

The selection process is coordinated through the Community Foundation and Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI). A committee convened by CCSI, which is comprised of CCSI representatives, professionals from the mental health and developmental disability service fields, Community Foundation representatives, and Clark family members, reviews applications and selects the recipient(s). Interviews may be requested.

Award Announcement and Payment

The Community Foundation emails an award notification with instructions for claiming the award to the recipient in April. Payment is mailed to the school for the recipient’s account in one lump sum in the Fall and split between the Fall and Spring semesters once required documentation is received.

To release the scholarship payment, upload the requested and required information including your class schedule and tuition bill verifying enrollment in a master’s level program in the field of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities to the online Clark Family Scholarship application between July 1 and August 15.

Scholarships not claimed by February 15 in the assigned year will be forfeited. Email scholarships@racf.org with any questions or concerns.

Renewability

The scholarship is a one-time award; however, students may reapply in future years and receive a maximum of four awards during a consecutive six-year period.

Because the goal of this award is to help worthy recipients obtain a graduate-level degree, students may reapply if they demonstrate good academic standing and continued enrollment, financial need, association with a nonprofit in the fields of mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disabilities, and alignment with the award criteria.

Recipients are expected to obtain a graduate-level degree within six consecutive years.

Note: Prior recipients who reapply in future years are not guaranteed to receive a scholarship. Renewals are reviewed as part of a competitive process (separately from new applications).


Donor Information

Barbara and Tom Clark have been blessed with good health, four children who live nearby, grandchildren, and a comfortable lifestyle. They come from modest backgrounds with parents who provided them with educational opportunities and strong work ethics, which has enabled them to be in a position to share their good fortune with others. Their youngest child, born with Down Syndrome, has been the beneficiary of many services provided by agencies and health systems serving the developmentally disabled. With their help, she has grown into a fine young woman.

Both Barbara and Tom have been closely involved with agencies serving the disadvantaged and have personally witnessed the skills and dedication of those who have chosen this career. This scholarship was established to assist individuals dedicated to serving in the field of developmental disabilities or mental health with their advanced educational pursuits. Through this scholarship, the Clarks desire to help these individuals with the educational requirements to improve their skills in serving those in need.

To make your own gift to this fund, click here.


Questions?

Email Scholarships@racf.org or call 585.341.4350 for assistance.


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