college scholarships in counseling and psychology

Supporting Students Who Demonstrate A Passion For Helping Others

Elk River College Scholarship Program

Each year in June, Elk River Teen Treatment Program awards a $500 scholarship to college juniors, seniors and graduate students who are pursuing a career in counseling, psychology, sociology, social work, and related fields. Qualified students may apply throughout the year. Please contact [email protected] with questions.

Students Pursuing Careers in:

  • Alcohol & Drug Addiction Counselor
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Clinical Counselor
  • Behavioral Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Clinical Supervisors
  • Eating Disorder Therapist
  • Group Therapist
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Other related fields


  1. College junior, senior or graduate student
  2. Majoring in social services or healthcare related field
  3. Currently enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university
  4. Minimum GPA 3.0
  5. Must be a United States resident


  1. Complete the Elk River Treatment Program Scholarship Application Form
  2. A letter detailing activities related to your field of study and your career goals. We want to support students we know are going to make a difference in this world. Show us that it is going to be you!
  3. Letter of recommendation from two advisers and/or college professors.
  4. A copy of College Transcripts.

How To Apply

Mail your application, letters and transcripts to:

Elk River Treatment Program c/o Selina Mason, College Scholarships 4812 Commercial Drive NW Huntsville, AL 35816

Selection Process

Throughout the year applications, letters and transcripts will be carefully evaluated by the scholarship committee. Selection will be based on merit, including academic record, social service, community activity, leadership and passion for service. A personal interview may be required as well via phone or video conference. It is our goal to choose the recipient(s) at the end of May and announce the winner in June.

2021 Scholarship Recipient

The Elk River Treatment Program Scholarship Committee is proud to announce this year's scholarship has been awarded to Trevor Southwick, an undergraduate student at Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ.

Trevor's personal story stood out among the many qualified candidates and through the letters of recommendation we received, it is apparent that he is using his personal history of addiction and homelessness to help others. The following is his essay:

I always found it challenging when I was a child in elementary school when the teachers would ask the simple of question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Truthfully, it was a challenge for me to picture my future because most days were just about making it through the night. Growing up in an alcoholic home often meant that I had to forego the luxury of these childhood fantasies in pursuit of survival. Unfortunately, my experience was not one of learning from my parents' mistakes and breaking free from that cycle of addiction. I, too, fell victim to substance abuse which eventually led to my episodic homelessness. In 2014, with my life in shambles, drugs had beaten me into a state of surrender and I had finally found true desperation for something different. I voluntarily checked in with a local detox and then got into a Medicaid funded 28-day residential treatment center on November 24th, 2014.

It was at this time that I entered into recovery and changed my life entirely. I have a firmly held belief that the true meaning of life is determining one's purpose. It was only after I entered into recovery that I was able to discover that mine was helping others. As part of my recovery, I began to sponsor other alcoholics and addicts and help them through the process as my sponsor had helped me. This was my first introduction to real service work. At one year sober, I received a grant that paid for me to become certified as a Peer Support Specialist and I was hired on at the detox that I went to before I got clean. I worked at that facility for over 6 months before promoting to a community-based homeless outreach program that placed an emphasis on getting chronically homeless individuals determined SMI (seriously mentally ill) and connected to mental health care for higher acuity members. I absolutely fell in love with this field of work. After a year of working on the PATH program, I was asked to help launch a new permanent supportive housing (PSH) program. The project was originally supposed to serve 75 community-identified hard to serve and high acuity clients, but within a year we had expanded to serve over 120 individuals meeting that challenging criteria. They subsequently created three additional programs like the one I worked on because of its initial success it had meeting the needs of the community. After taking five weeks off when my son was born in February 2018, the Senior Director of Housing and Community Integration hand selected me to launch a new homeless outreach program in Chandler, Arizona. Within a year of program creation, I was able to assist over 100 people experiencing homelessness find either a housing placement or some form of diversion from homelessness.

While working in Chandler, under the direct supervision of a master's level macro social worker, I made the decision to return back to school and further my education. As a means to keep down costs of my tuition, I applied and qualified for FAFSA which awarded me Federal Pell Grants. I finished the remainder of my lower division courses at local community colleges until applying to begin at ASU for the fall semester of 2019 in the Bachelor of Social Work degree program. I was accepted and transferred in as a junior. Despite working full time, raising a toddler and two bonus children from my wife's previous marriage, all while attending school full time including 5 classes both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, 2 classes over Summer 2020 and 4 classes plus my internship Fall 2020, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA.

After a year working in Chandler, my interest in macro social work began to cultivate.

An opportunity in management of a local nonprofit that provides housing for formerly homeless, disabled and low-income residents presented itself to me and I took the leap. Arriving in this management position has reassured that I have finally found my real purpose. I will always have a special place in my heart for direct practice, but I have found today that utilizing the skills I acquired both from navigating myself through homeless services and from years of experiencing assisting other individuals experiencing similar circumstances has helped place me in a position to make genuine impact on a programmatic and systems level. I am just now beginning my Spring 2021 semester as a senior and I am interning at the agency that oversees the local homeless shelter here in Phoenix, Arizona. I chose this field placement agency for my internship because their mission correlates directly with my personal career goals continuing to serve individuals experiencing homelessness. I have recently been accepted into the Advanced Standing (I-year) Policy, Administration and Community Practice (PAC) Master of Social Work (MSW) program at ASU. I will be graduating this May with my BSW and immediately after will begin my MSW program. I should then graduate the following May (2022) with my MSW.

My hope is that as I continue to pursue my education and grow professionally working in this arena, I will continue to make a positive and lasting impact on the community. During my undergrad, I qualified for the maximum amounts of Federal Pell Grants, which allowed me to keep the debt incurred from my tuition low. This scholarship would enable me to maintain financial security and help offset the costs of my master's program by preventing me from having to take out substantial student loans to cover these tuition costs, further enabling me the opportunity to focus on working towards making positive impact on the lives of those I continue to serve. Thank you for this opportunity to apply and for considering me for this scholarship.


Trevor Southwick

2020 Scholarship Recipient

Applicants for the 2021 Elk River Treatment Program (ERTP) Scholarship have faced more obstacles than usual as COVID-19 precautions continued to limit in-classroom study. The difficulties began in 2020 as students struggled to get letters of recommendation while maintaining social distance. Those who met the requirements for the 2020 scholarship were from Arizona State University, Boston University, California State University, Concordia University, George Fox University, Los Angeles Valley College, Palo Alto University, Santa Fe College, Southern Oregon University, University of Arizona and West Coast University.

Claire Ellen Kollhoff, a graduate student at Boston University, was chosen for the 2020 ERTP Scholarship. As an exceptional student with a 4.0 GPA, Ms. Kollhoff has also pursued opportunities to learn her craft first-hand by interning at a psychiatric inpatient unit for children and adolescents, volunteer for a crisis hotline and serve as an officer for the campus chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Graduate Medicine Sciences Carryl P. Navalta, PhD. wrote, "From my perspective as her academic advisor, her career goal to work with at-risk and disadvantaged adolescents with minority backgrounds and identities is simply laudable."

Associate Professor at Boston University's Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program Laurie Craigen, PhD, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC wrote in her letter of recommendation, "In just under one academic year into a full-time graduate program Claire has already forged a strong reputation for herself as a student learner and a future mental health counselor." Dr. Craigen commended Claire for her passion for the field, her commitment to working with the most vulnerable and her openness to learn and be challenged.

2020 Scholarship Winner Essay

2019 Scholarship Award

As a residential treatment program for adolescents and teens, we recognize the importance of keeping these fields of study full of young minds who have a passion for helping others.

Like years before, it was difficult for the 2019 scholarship committee team to choose the winner among so many deserving applicants. One student stood out for all of us: Crystal Clark who recently completed her first year in graduate school at California State University, Northridge, with a 4.0 GPA.

Mark Stevens, Ph.D., wrote in one of her letters of recommendation: "Crystal is a nuanced thinker, she is friendly, warm and supportive. She is also someone who shares her awareness of diversity issues through her narrative as an African-American woman and a person that has been involved and cares about social justice issues." Dr. Stevens is a Professor and Psychologist in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, MFT Program, California State University, Northridge.

Dana Stone, Ph.D., LMFT wrote: "she enriches the learning environment for her peers. Crystal was one of eight students in the program who was selected to start her clinical fieldwork placement early." Dr. Stone added that after observing and working with Crystal, "she stood apart from her classmates for her ability to relate so well to the others in the group." Dr. Stone is Associate Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, California State University, Northridge.

2019 Scholarship Award Winner