This scholarship fund was created in 2008 by Mike Schaefer to support students interested in providing compassionate care to any survivors of violence, trauma or grief.
Words from the Creator:
My partner’s suicide in 2006 left me grateful for the community support services offered by a wide variety of counselors and caregivers. My intention is to support any students interested in providing compassionate care to any survivors of violence, trauma or grief.
I’ve also found that the most compassionate services are often offered by those who have first-hand experience in these issues, so I did not want to limit funding to any particular area of study, grade level or geographic location.
The aspiration of the Soaring Heart Scholarship is to reassure those healing from violence, trauma, and grief that their hearts will once again soar. By supporting students who wish to focus on offering compassionate care to these survivors, we can build our entire community’s skillfulness in sharing our hope, grace, and a sense of connection even at times when we are most vulnerable.
This scholarship recognizes that, while not all of us can be skillful guides through life’s most difficult challenges, we can do our best to assure our community stands funded and ready whenever those needs arise. May we all bear witness to the soaring hearts in our community!
While the focus of this scholarship is on mental health practitioners, the selection criteria are intentionally left broad. There are so many ways to share support for those surviving trauma and violence—anyone from clergy to acupuncturists and artists maybe qualified, so long as they have an interest, and commitment to demonstrating how their studies will result in expanding our communities care for those with these great needs.
Mike Schaefer lives in Seattle, Washington.
Mike Schaefer (L) with April Nishimura, 2014 scholar who received the Soaring Heart Scholarship