Canaan, CT – For the second year in a row, Mountainside Treatment Center will be providing $10,000 worth of academic scholarships to high school juniors and seniors. The treatment provider has created the Mountainside Brighter Future College Scholarship to foster awareness and education about addiction among youth and empower students who have been impacted by substance use disorders to share their stories.
Interested students will need to complete an initial application and then submit a short essay explaining how they have been impacted by their own or a loved one’s substance use disorder. The writing sample should also detail how the student’s personal experiences have shaped their understanding of addiction as a disease. Through providing academic scholarships, the treatment center hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding substance use disorders, encourage youth to not be ashamed to share their struggles, and educate others on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
Previously, only students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey were eligible to submit an essay. However, this year, Mountainside is expanding its reach to include students in Pennsylvania to provide an opportunity for even more individuals to be considered for this financial award.
This change comes as substance abuse continues to impact individuals and families across Pennsylvania. In 2021, nearly 15 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses every day and in Philadelphia specifically, there were over 1200 overdose deaths at the end of the year, one of the biggest drivers being fentanyl. To increase Pennsylvanians’ access to quality addiction treatment, Mountainside has proudly started offering Recovery Coaching services in the state.
Addiction has a ripple effect beyond the individual struggling. For adolescents whose parents misuse substances, the consequences can be profound, affecting a young person’s emotional development as well as communication and trust within their interpersonal relationships. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has estimated that nearly 1 in 8 Americans aged 17 or younger have lived with at least one addicted parent.
Young people also grapple with substance misuse firsthand due to factors such as peer pressure, a desire to socialize and have fun, or the belief that substances will help them improve their grades or athletic ability. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 62 percent of adolescents have abused alcohol by their senior year of high school and 43 percent of college students have used illicit drugs. This problematic substance use can have fatal consequences, with over 11 percent of total overdose deaths impacting those aged 15 to 24. These statistics, while startling, are preventable. For Mountainside, the Brighter Future College Scholarship is just one step in a series of community efforts to educate and empower those struggling to reach out for help.
The $10,000 in scholarship funds will be provided as $1,000 awards to up to 10 chosen scholarship applicants. The deadline to apply for the scholarship will be May 15th and winners will be announced on or around June 5th.
For more information about the scholarship and the essay guidelines, visit: https://mountainside.com/scholarships/brighter-future/