Someone writing in a journal with a laptop, photos and coffee on wood desk.

Essays from Past Winners

The Brighter Future Scholarship aims to help students pursue their dreams and passions. A brighter future starts with today’s youth and Mountainside Treatment Center wants to enable young people to overcome their struggles. To qualify, applicants share essays about their addiction or their loved one’s addiction and how it has affected their life, raising awareness and highlighting the reality of this disease. Explore essays from past winners below.

A daughter upset at her alcoholic father

Finding Myself

“I tried my best to pretend that everything was ordinary, but I could not deny the drastic shift I felt in my family. The late-night arguments, the random bursts of anger, his belligerent speeches, and verbal attacks became my new normal. Day by day, my idea of a family drifted.”

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Empty beer bottles on a table | Mountainside Treatment Center

Why Me?

“My mother on the other hand was an alcoholic. I’m not sure when this started but I have vivid memories of me holding her hair back as she threw up in the bathroom.”

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Papers and lists on a table with a vase and flowers | Mountainside Addiction Treatment Center

Breaking Bad Habits

“Dealing with mental health at a young age is the most damaging thing I’ve experienced. I would know because I have a list. Yeah, I know. Why would I have a list of the most damaging things I’ve gone through? Easy question to answer…”

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Cocaine

Uncle Monster

“Addiction is not a solitary disease. It is like a stone thrown in a pond, causing a ripple effect that disturbs any and all surrounding calm.”

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medical equipment

Future Doctor

“My parents grew up completely isolated from drugs and alcohol until they went to high school. My dad hit ninth grade and started dealing.”

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library shelves

Motivation for a Higher Education

“This experience has made me realize that those who can overcome addiction or substance abuse should not be looked down upon! Others often look down upon these people, for they think the addiction is a sign of weakness…”

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You Live With Dad Now

“At one point or another, we have all experienced periods of emotional distress. While being a universal experience, the taboo nature of mental illness and discussions of mental health can make a very common situation seem abnormal.”

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Last Breath by Dillon

Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

“Because of my father’s addiction, I learned to hate the sin, but not the sinner. I don’t let my past mark me who I am today.”

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Ready to Enter?

See Brighter Future Scholarship Eligibility Requirements & Apply