Effective School Solutions & the Madison Holleran Foundation Announce the Winners of the Madison Holleran Mental Health Action Scholarship

Effective School Solutions (ESS), a leading provider of in-school mental health services for K-12 school districts, and the Madison Holleran Foundation (MHF), are proud to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Madison Holleran Mental Health Action Scholarship. This scholarship was founded to not only drive awareness about suicide prevention but also to hear from high school students about innovative approaches they believe their schools can take to help young adults navigate through the mental health challenges they are facing today. This topic is more important than ever given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health. The scholarship honors Madison Holleran, an Allendale, New Jersey, native and all-state athlete who died by suicide as a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.

As part of the scholarship process, high school seniors across the country submitted essays about innovative mental health support programs that could be implemented at their high schools. The winners include:

  • Alessandra Cabrera, Absegami High School: Alessandra’s program, Expression Day, drives awareness about mental health through the arts. 
  • Ava Lorusso, Ramsey High School: The Shepherd Project is a student mentor/mentee program that supports K-12 students.
  • Haley Qin, Upper Saint Clair High School: Haley is the creator of Daily Love, a mental health awareness website and her program, M.I.N.D., focuses on embedding mental health education into school curriculum.
  • MacKenzie Redding, Northeastern Senior High School: The Mental Health is Im-Paw-Tant program trains shelter dogs to be support animals for students.

“This was another incredible set of submissions, and it was difficult to select just four winners. It’s clear that the importance of mental health has been highlighted with our young people over the last year because of the social-emotional challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Duncan Young, CEO of Effective School Solutions. 

Carli Bushoven, Executive Director of the Madison Holleran Foundation, stated, “Our hope with these scholarships is to bring attention to mental health and wellness to the forefront of high school and college campuses, end the stigma, and, ultimately, encourage today’s students to make strides in their community with regards to mental health.”

Sadly, Jim Holleran, Madison’s father and founder of the MHF, passed away on November 13, 2020. Jim was passionate about suicide prevention and removing the stigma surrounding mental health. In 2016, Jim was instrumental in getting the Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act passed in New Jersey. Through this law, college students in crisis now have 24-hour access to health care professionals with mental health training. The creation of this scholarship program was very dear to him. Jim enjoyed reading the essays and hearing directly from high school students about their challenges and ideas on how to improve youth mental health. His mission continues through the MHF and this scholarship program.

Since 2009, Effective School Solutions has been a leader in school-based mental health. ESS partners with over 70 districts across nine states to provide comprehensive, cost-effective whole-school clinical programs to K-12 students.

The primary mission of the Madison Holleran Foundation is to prevent suicides and to assist those in crisis with resources that will assist them during their time in crisis. The Foundation also focuses on preparing high school seniors for their transition to college.

For more information, press only:

Lisa Murphy-Church
lmurphy-church@effectiveschoolsolutions.com

Source: Effective School Solutions