Because of the deadlines, I wanted to get this post out right away. I will be sharing some thoughts and considerations regarding corporations and mental health in a future blog post, but for now, just (mostly) the facts.
First, a disclaimer: in sharing this information I do not stand to gain in any way, financially or otherwise from, nor do I have an affiliation with or any association whatsoever with Shire or Shire Canada Inc. or with the Edge Foundation. Psych Central is also not affiliated with this program. For more information, please read the PsychCentral.com Disclaimer & Disclosure statement.
For those of you enrolled in post-secondary education, there’s a chunk of money and a year’s worth of free coaching in the offing. I’m tempted to sign up for school just to get my hands on that free coaching, and that’s one of the compelling reasons I’m sharing this news with you.
Depending on which side of the border you live, the program is called the Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship (in the United States) and the Shire Canada ADHD Scholarship Program (only available in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec at this time).
The program is in its 6th year in the United States, the second year in Canada. 191 scholarships have been awarded so far in the United States and 4 in its first year in Canada.
The awards and application process are different in each country, so if you’re thinking about applying make sure you check out the specifications that apply to your country.
The website for the scholarship can be found here: Shire 2014 ADHD Scholarship Program
In the U.S., you can apply online, by fax, or by mail. The deadline is March 19, 2014, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time for online; postmarked March 19, 2014 for mailed or faxed applications.
In Canada, you can only apply online and your application must be submitted by April 15, 2014, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
A few details
All applicants have to have been diagnosed with ADHD by a licensed health care practitioner and be under a licensed health care practitioner’s care for treatment but other than that no specific treatment – including taking ADHD medication – is necessary.
Be warned: part of the application process includes essay-writing, which I know isn’t everyone’s favorite thing. And please don’t ask me to help you because I’m a writer. Hey, I told you about the scholarship. That’s all I can do! (sorry)
Scholarship winners receive a year’s worth of ADHD coaching, including a once-a-week half-hour session plus up to four check-ins of five to ten minutes per week by e-mail, text message, phone, or skype™. The check-ins “…are designed to help the recipient stay on track and focus on whatever goals he or she is working on.” [from Shire’s Scholarship website]. Coaching is provided by the Edge Foundation.
You don’t have to go public if you win a scholarship, and two of the four Canadian recipients last year didn’t.
What convinced me to share this with you
I know there’s a lot of controversy around pharmaceutical companies and ADHD (more about this in a future blog post), so before I decided to pass this opportunity along, I read Shire’s scholarship website thoroughly, both the Canadian and U.S. sites. When I found a lot of familiar and respected ADHD experts amongst the scholarship’s judges, I was reassured.
One of these judges is Dr. Lily Hechtman. Hechtman was one of the first experts I interviewed when I began to write about ADHD in adults, almost a decade ago. She’s a pioneer in the field and co-wrote with Dr. Gabrielle Weiss Hyperactive Children Grown Up: ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults, based on a much-lauded 15-year study that followed ADHD kids into adulthood. It was in large part thanks to Hechtman and Weiss that we now recognize that ADHD continues into adulthood for the majority of us.
If Dr. Hechtman’s name is on the program, I’m satisfied that it’s a worthwhile program. Another familiar name is Heidi Bernhardt, founder and National Director of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC).
American judges include Evelyn Polk Green, MSEd, the current president of ADDA, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. Polk Green was profiled in ADDitude Magazine’s ADHD Women: Female Leaders With Adult ADD/ADHD. Carol Caruso, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Pennsylvania, Montgomery County is another U.S. scholarship judge.
These experts, among others, add credibility in terms of expertise in determining worthy recipients and also in understanding what it takes for a student with ADHD to succeed in the academic environment. After all, some of these judges themselves have ADHD and have had similar struggles to those who are applying.
If you do apply, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the program, how you think it will help you, or anything else you’d like to share.
Good luck everyone!