Active Minds Awards $90,000 to Rising Mental Health Professionals 

May 31, 2022  

Active Minds, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and advocacy for young adults, is proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural Emerging Scholars Nash Family Scholarship. This new scholarship, made possible by generous support from Avi and Sandra Nash, recognizes three students who are working to make a difference in the mental health field. 

This year’s recipients show a dedication to healthcare equity, commitment to their studies and future plans, and a passion for mental health. Each winner will receive a total of $30,000 to help fund their graduate studies. 

“Real change in how we all approach and treat mental illnesses in our country and in our communities doesn’t just happen. It takes a concentrated effort between professionals and passionate advocates to forge creative solutions to the mental health crisis,” said Laura Horne, Active Minds’ chief program officer. “We’re honored to help these three up and coming mental health professionals as they help to navigate and figure out innovative ways to improve equitable mental health access and treatment for all.” 

Learn more about this year’s recipients: 

Alyssa Garza
Alyssa is an Indigenous Latina pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at Louisiana State University – Shreveport. Post-graduation, she plans on implementing her knowledge and skills learned from this program to assist those struggling with mental health challenges, and in particular working with individuals of minority populations, women of color, and survivors of domestic abuse. 

Jana LeBert
Jana is a recent graduate of Howard University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a double minor in biology and community health education. She will pursue a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in behavioral, social, and health education sciences at Emory University this fall. She seeks to continue gaining experience in the field of behavioral health to advocate for increasing minority mental healthcare accessibility, culturally competent healthcare administration, and decreasing health disparities for Black and Brown youth and their communities. 

Sophia Shieh
Sophia is currently a visiting student at the University of Oxford. She is majoring in Applied Psychology and Human Development, with triple minors back at her home university, Boston College. In the fall, she will enroll in either the Columbia University Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health dual degree program or the University of Chicago Master of Social Work program. Her long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical or Community Psychology to continue learning from and amplifying the voices of those whom she serves through a community participatory framework. 

Read more about the 2022 Emerging Scholars Nash Family Scholarship here


About Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization promoting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Active Minds has a presence at more than 1,000 campuses, schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide and is powered by a robust Chapter Network, the nationally acclaimed Send Silence Packing® display, inspiring Active Minds Speakers, and our tailored Active Minds @Work initiative. The organization is dedicated to ending the silence and changing the culture around mental health for everyone. To learn more, visit