Scholarship awarded to student
The Ima Hogg scholarship from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health was awarded to second-year Master of Social Work student, Ashley Montondon.
The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to only ten graduate social work students from Texas and Montondon is the first student ever chosen from UH.
“The Hogg Foundation is an integral part of mental health funding in Texas and over the last several years has devoted much energy to giving funds to advocacy efforts of families and survivors of mental health trauma,” Montondon said. “I knew about the scholarship from hearing about all the work the Hogg foundation does, but some colleagues reminded me of the annual competition and encouraged me to apply. “
Montondon became interested in social work during his last year as a psychology undergrad at Lamar University and decided to focus his career in both Texas and Virginia in different parts of social services, such as juvenile probation, family services and now mental health.
“Once I saw first hand what kind of effect mental illness can have on family and friends, I became even more committed to helping improve support, treatment and education for individuals and families,” Montondon said. “(For) the last four years I have been working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, developing recovery education programming for people with mental illnesses around Houston communities and speaking to groups about mental health recovery.”
After receiving a master’s degree, Montondon hopes to continue his training as a clinician by working with those affected by mental illness and life’s adversities.
“I want to refine my therapeutic skills to help create more effective interventions, programming and education materials, and improved advocacy for our community,” Montondon said.
Created in 1956 by Ima Hogg, The Hogg Foundation Scholarship Program awards scholarships to graduate social work students in the field of mental health services. To mark its 70 anniversary, the foundation doubled the amount of scholarships given out this year, giving out $50,000 in special scholarship awards — Montondon’s included.
“I am very grateful to win such a notable scholarship, which will help me plan ahead for the continued professional training I will need as I move into a higher level of the work field as a licensed MSW, but I am especially honored to be a part of the UH Graduate College of Social Work,” Montondon said. “I would not have received the scholarship without the wonderfully kind references from GCSW Professor Luis Torres and my friend Cheryl Amoruso, who is the director of the UH Center for Students with Disabilities.”
Recipients of the scholarship must attend an accredited Texas graduate social work program or one of pending accreditation.
“I am very proud to attend such a great graduate program and getting recognized for my efforts and potential is the cherry on top,” Montondon said.