Each year, the Hogg Foundation awards Ima Hogg Scholarships to graduate social work students who have committed to joining the mental health workforce. An investment in their post-graduate careers is an investment in improving the quality of mental health services across Texas where the mental health workforce is in critical condition. Reports from 2015 revealed that more than 70 percent of counties across the state didn’t have a single psychiatrist in residence, leaving 3 million Texans without access to psychiatric services.

Awardees received scholarships of $5,000. The 2018 recipients are:

Tess Cain, Texas A&M Kingsville
“I am so honored to be part of the Hogg Foundation legacy. With my Master’s in Social Work, I hope to make a lasting impact in mental health in Texas. The road to improving mental health services is long and winding, but I am proud to walk it.”

Genesis Guillen, The University of Texas at San Antonio
“What defines me is everything that I have accomplished despite facing adversity. Adversity has made me an open-minded, persistent, compassionate, and strong-willed woman that respects human dignity and believes in social justice.” 

Cynthia Jimenez, The University of Texas at El Paso
“I want to be the best and most knowledgeable social worker I can be for my community. I know that the more educated I am, the better the outcome will be for the population I choose to work with.”

Matquita Johnson, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Mental health resources are lacking, especially in rural areas, and I want to be able to advocate for those clients and give them a voice if they aren’t being heard.”

Lesley Miller, University of Houston
“Through my own process of self-growth, I have realized how deeply passionate I am about helping others along their own journeys.”

Jennifer Potter, West Texas A&M University
“I have a strong will to advocate for those whose story and past can ignite a change.”

Mandy Rama, Texas State University
“I am passionate about people and have made it my life goal to have a vocation that seeks to serve marginalized populations.”

Nietta Reynolds, Texas A&M Commerce
“The art of ‘giving back’ has been instilled in me since I was a child and, with such a passion, it only makes sense for me to try to give back to my community.”

Emily Sabado, Texas Christian University
“I have realized that I cannot take credit for a client’s successes or failures. I cannot make them change. However, if I can make a slight impact on their life, then that is enough for me.”

Bianca Smith, Baylor University
“I chose social work as a career because I know that my divine purpose is to serve others. Social work is more than my career choice; it’s my response to the calling from a higher power.”

Carly Snyder, The University of Texas at Austin
“This award will help me learn how to most effectively serve and advocate for communities of marginalized youth in central Texas as an aspiring school social worker.” 

Erika Villarreal, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
“I believe that all individuals are capable of achieving recovery. My career goals are to continue working in the mental health field for as long as I am needed.”

Lauren Vines, Tarleton State University
“My goal is to not only continue advocating for substance use rehabilitation and treatment but assist those suffering with lifelimiting illnesses.”