UT Pan Am Student is One of Five Statewide to Receive 2011 Hogg Foundation Scholarship
July 12, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas – University of Texas – Pan American student Jaime H. Rosas Jr. is one of five outstanding Texas graduate students of social work to receive the prestigious 2011 Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health.
Rosas is an advanced-standing student at the Department of Social Work and plans to graduate in May 2012. After graduation, he wants to help people who have mental illness or brain disorders and their families.
He is especially interested in working with the elderly after helping his family find services for his grandmother when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He said his grandmother initially did not have access to medical services due to financial constraints, and his family was unaware of the many social services and programs available to assist her.
“Once I began learning about the services available, I was able to refer her to programs that have helped her as her disease progressed. In dealing with this I have been inspired to help others who struggle with family members who have mental illness or brain disorders. I look forward to a rewarding career helping people,” he said.
Rosas was the first in his family to receive a high school diploma and graduated magna cum laude from the university in fall 2010 with a 3.8 average and a bachelor’s degree in social work. He also has associate degrees in social work and interdisciplinary studies from South Texas College in Weslaco. He is married and a father of three.
His scholarship comes at a time when Texas is facing critical shortages in the state’s mental health workforce. Texas ranks far below the national average in the number of mental health professionals per 100,000 residents. In 2009, 173 counties in Texas were designated as mental health profession shortage areas, and 40 Texas counties did not have a single social worker.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health awards up to five $5,000 scholarships annually to graduate social work students in Texas who plan to provide mental health services after graduation. The scholarship program was created in 1956 by Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg to attract students to mental health careers.
“These scholarships enable the recipients to finish their advanced studies and begin practicing their profession at a time when these skills and knowledge are sorely needed,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the foundation.
The Hogg Foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James S. Hogg, and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. The foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research, and public education.