Charlamagne Tha God, multi-media mogul and founder of the Mental Wealth Alliance, is furthering his efforts towards mental health outreach, care, and generational support for Black communities by presenting this year’s graduating class of local foster youth with scholarships and resources at the 2021 Virtual High School Graduation & Scholarship Award Celebration, sponsored by the LA County Independent Living Program (ILP). This event, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services, Los Angeles County Department of Probation, Faithful Central Bible Church, and IndieFlix Foundation, took place on June 22, 2021, and was livestreamed on YouTube at 11:00am PST. Charlamagne was joined by presenters and speakers including Tiffany Haddish, Keke Palmer, Danny Trejo, and more to recognize this exceptional graduating class.
“Doesn’t matter what your current circumstances are, all anyone needs to change those circumstances is opportunity and resources,” said Charlamagne. “I have to thank Tiffany for making me aware of what foster kids go through and I want kids in the foster care system to know that we see them and we are here to be of service to them. Thank You GOD for blessing me to be a blessing.”
A passionate advocate for increased access, education, programming, and legislation for Black mental health, Charlamagne is honored to present scholarships to five students seeking to pursue mental health as a profession. The recipients include students who will attend Dickenson College, Cal Lutheran University, and California State University’sNorthridge, San Bernardino, and Dominguez Hills campuses, and will help support their studies as they work towards majors in Psychology, Social Work, and/or Political Science/Sociology.
The five students will also receive free virtual therapy sessions, and a 6th student will receive both a scholarship and free virtual therapy sessions sponsored by the non-profit AAKOMA Project, an MWA partner. AAKOMA builds the consciousness of Youth of Color and their caregivers to recognize and place importance on mental health, to empower youth and their families to seek help and manage mental health, and to influence systems and services to receive and address the needs of youth of color and their families.
MWA is one of six organizations bestowing scholarships, in addition to other grants this year’s 334 graduates will be receiving. In order to qualify for the celebration, students must have maintained a minimum GPA of 2.8, committed to continuing their education at a four or two-year college, and satisfied requirements including application and essay submissions. The 2021 celebration is being combined with additional student applicant groups. All 334 graduates will receive a Director’s Incentive ranging from $500 to $3,000 for their accomplishments.
The virtual event was the 33rd annual celebration recognizing outstanding young people who have overcome tremendous odds. Typically, the young people are afforded hair, makeup, wardrobe, and a rousing live event, but due to COVID, this year’s event was virtual. Through this event, the ILP seeks to change stereotypes, noting that while only 50% of foster care youth nationwide graduate high school, this year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian each have GPAs that exceed 4.30. This year’s program featured appearances by Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Bobby Cagle, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. The keynote speaker was an ILP alumni who completed her undergraduate and law degrees, and who is currently studying for the California State Bar in pursuit of her law career in restorative justice.
ABOUT MENTAL WEALTH ALLIANCE
The Mental Wealth Alliance (MWA), founded by multi media mogul and Radio Hall of Famer Charlamagne Tha God (Lenard McKelvey), supports state of the art mental health services for Black people in need, while building a long-term system of generational support for Black communities. MWA works to raise awareness, end stigma, and expand access across three pillars of programming: Train, Teach, and Treat. MWA’s Teach pillar focuses on using grassroots and legislative advocacy to expand awareness of Black mental health issues, dismantle the accompanying stigma, and increase resources for Black mental wellness. Under its Train pillar, MWA will dramatically increase the number of Black mental health professionals by providing culturally competent training, as well as financial support via scholarship programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Treat for MWA is centered around providing free mental health services for Black people, by Black people. Recognizing the challenges of not only finding but affording quality, culturally attuned mental health care, MWA will provide over 10,000 hours of free care to individuals via a proprietary network of vetted Black mental health practitioners.
The Mental Wealth Alliance is a member of The Giving Back Fund’s family of foundations. The Giving Back Fund is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 04-3367888) that encourages and facilitates charitable giving by providing philanthropic consulting, management and administrative services while operating as a flexible, convenient vehicle for establishing individual foundations and fiscally sponsored projects.
ABOUT THE AAKOMA PROJECT
At the AAKOMA Project, our founder’s vision is a world where EVERY child, teen and young adult (inclusive of all points of diversity) feels the freedom to live unapologetically and authentically within an environment that allows them to rise and thrive. Because of this, AAKOMA supports BIPOC and marginalized teen, young adult (and their family) mental health through dialogue, authentic, equitable engagement in communities and with the understanding that everyone deserves #optimalmentalhealth. AAKOMA is a multicultural team of dedicated people who create scientific knowledge leading to positive behavior change and implement this science using community-engaged, culturally fluent practices.
For more information, visit www.mentalwealthalliance.org.
Contact: [email protected]
SOURCE Mental Wealth Alliance (MWA)