Until recently, the idea that people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder could move their lives forward or even reintegrate into their communities was thought by many to be unrealistic and unobtainable. But with the advent of newer medications, lives have been transformed.
However, medication is only the first step. The support of people and programs in the community is essential. Opening the door to educational opportunities is one way to help people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder transition from a world of chaos and withdrawal to one of accomplishment.
The goal of the Baer Reintegration Scholarship is to help people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder acquire the educational and vocational skills necessary to reintegrate into society, secure jobs, and regain their lives.
The Baer Reintegration Scholarship is funded by the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation which supports the efforts of organizations working to stimulate education, research and direct care in the mental health field. A businessman and consultant, Mr. Baer personally faced mental health challenges during his life and sought to alleviate the suffering of those living with mental illness
Prior to completing the application online, all applicants will be required to take a brief eligibility quiz. To be considered for the Baer Reintegration Scholarship, applicants must:
- Be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
- Be currently receiving medical treatment for the disease, including medications and psychiatric follow-up, or have prescribing authority’s documentation of past history noted on Recommendation Form.
- Be actively involved in rehabilitative or reintegration efforts, such as clubhouse membership, part-
or full-time employment, volunteer efforts or school enrollment.
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and plan to attend a school in the United States
- Be age 18 years or older by the beginning of the 2024-2025 academic school year.
The Baer Reintegration Scholarship program is designed to offer financial assistance for a wide range of educational opportunities in which students work to attain a certificate or degree from an accredited institution. Eligible programs include:
- High school equivalency programs
- Trade or vocational school, or certification programs
- Associate’s degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Graduate degree
- Post-baccalaureate credit coursework
Due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic, the Baer Reintegration Scholarship Program is accepting students attending school online, in person, or a hybrid of the two.
The applications will be judged by the following criteria:
- Academic success
- References from three individuals, including the applicant’s psychiatrist or prescribing authority (references from family members are ineligible)
- Quality of essay
- Thoughtfulness and appropriateness of academic
and vocational/career goals
- Rehabilitation involvement
- Success in dealing with the disease
- Recent volunteer and/or vocational experience
- Completion of application requirements including signing the Personal Consent & Release Form
CONDITIONS OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The 2024-2025 Baer Reintegration Scholarship program will be effective for the fall 2024- spring 2025 school year only. Past winners wishing to continue/complete their education must reapply to renew their scholarship on an annual basis. (See Renewal Guidelines below.)
Awards are determined on a case-by-case basis. Scholarship money is sent directly to educational institutions to defray the costs of tuition, books, laboratory supplies and mandatory fees on behalf of winning candidates. All monies remaining at the end of the 2024 spring semester must be returned to the scholarship fund. The scholarship does not cover summer classes, transportation, computer, room and board expenses, or personal expenses.
EDUCATIONAL GOALS AND COSTS
Applicants must have an academic or a vocational goal, as well as a career goal, including a specific school, or set of schools, they plan to attend. Applicants must enclose a copy of the desired school’s statement of standard costs for tuition, books, lab supplies, and mandatory fees from the school’s website or financial aid office. If applying for more than one school, include standard costs from all potential schools.
INDEPENDENT JUDGING PANEL
The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation has an independent panel of judges comprised of psychiatric care professionals and consumers to select the scholarship winners. The judges will review all eligible scholarship applications in accordance with the stated criteria. They will select scholarship winners and determine monetary scholarship amounts for each winner based on financial needs and educational goals. All deliberations and decisions by the judging panel are final and confidential. Scholarship amounts vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
This application will be reviewed only by the panel of judges and will remain confidential. All application materials will be destroyed after the judging process is completed and will not be returned to the applicant. Decisions will be made in April of 2024. All applicants will be notified of a decision in May of 2024.
Essay must be no longer than three double-spaced typed pages and must include the following section headings; to make six separate sections to the essay. These sections are provided within the online application.
- My Career Goal and My Rationale for Choosing This Goal
- How This Course of Study Will Help Me Achieve My Career Goal
- How My Illness Has Impacted My Ability to Succeed in School, Maintain Employment or Establish Relationships
- Steps I Have Taken to Prepare for Pursuit of This Education
- Rationale for the Specific School Chosen
- My Plans to Continue Treatment While Pursuing an Education
- Please note uploaded essays that do not have these headings clearly stated at the beginning of each section will not be accepted for the judges’ review.
Applicants are required to submit three recommendation forms. The first must be completed by the applicant’s prescribing authority for the mental illness. This is how we verify that each applicant has a qualifying diagnosis. Applications that do not have this recommendation form will be disqualified.
The second and third recommendations are general recommendations. They can be filled out by a friend, coworker, teacher, therapist, sponsor, fellow community member, among other relations. Family members may NOT fill out any recommendation forms.
Should any of your references be unable to fill out the recommendation forms sent to them through the online application, they can visit our Scholarship Recommendations page to choose a different way to submit their form.View Scholarship