Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship

The mission of the Melanie Foundation is to provide financial assistance to graduate students in the mental health field.

Sponsor: The Melanie Foundation


The Melanie Foundation Scholarship is a $2,500 scholarship to be awarded to a candidate pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree in the mental health field. The scholarship will be awarded to a candidate for one year. Candidates may reapply for additional years.

Each year a scholarship is awarded in Ms. O’Donnell’s name to promote her legacy of helping others through the exercise of wisdom and compassion. Through scholarship awards and fundraising activities, the foundation seeks to raise awareness about the inextricable link between mental health issues and community violence. Moreover, scholarship recipients advance the foundation's mission by devoting their energies and talents to the needs of victims, as well as the needs of emergency management professionals and health care practitioners.


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Currently enrolled or accepted into a graduate program majoring in the mental health field in the United States. Programs must be accredited by the credentialing agency appropriate to the field of study.
  • Provide evidence of past involvement in extracurricular, volunteer, research and/or career-related activities.
  • Demonstrate experience and interest in one or more of the ideals to which Melanie Merola O’Donnell committed herself.

Nominations will be accepted from library users, students, faculty, library colleagues or others with knowledge of the nominee’s achievement.

How to Apply

Deadline for receipt of the 2014 completed scholarship application was March 4, 2014. Scholarship recipients will be personally notified and publicly announced by June 15, 2014. All other applicants will be notified electronically.

Submit all questions and application materials to the Melanie Foundation.

Application materials must include:

  • Curriculum vitae and cover letter. Please include email address.
  • Unofficial transcripts, undergraduate and/or graduate. Official transcripts may be requested at a later date.
  • Two letters of reference supporting the candidate’s application from adults who have known the candidate for more than 1 year (at least one from a professional in the mental health field, another from an individual who has known the candidate either personally or professionally for 5 years or more). Letters of reference should be emailed directly to the Melanie Foundation with the applicant's name as the subject of the email.
  • A typed (double-spaced) essay of no more than 2-3 pages on how your experiences in the mental health profession have shaped your life, and how you will use your college and graduate education to assist communities in a manner consistent with Melanie Merola O’Donnell’s values of compassion, generosity, respect and honesty.

    As an option you may choose one of the following quotes to incorporate into your statement:
    • “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
    • “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Ghandi
    • “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

All application materials must be sent together as PDFs in one email, with the reference letters arriving separately with the applicant's name in the subject line. Please be clear about this when requesting a reference. If your documents exceed the amount of space allowed in one email you may send multiple emails but please do so during the same time frame so they arrive together.

The Melanie Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, Vietnam-era or disabled veteran status in its selection process.


Past Recipients

Kevin O'Leary
Jessica Bodie
Keira Moore
Katherine Castejo
Madga Permut


Katherine Castejon
Magda Permut
Lorin Williams


Meredith Cregg-Wedmore
Magda Permut
Karina Ramos
Stephanie Towns


Meredith Cregg-Wedmore
Karina Ramos


Andrea N. Falzone

Jean M. LaFauci Schutt

Jillian Ruhland