Four Loyola Academy Seniors Receive Elyssa's Mission Scholarship
Congratulations to senior Hope Squad members Lauren Dziedzic, Bradley Orzada, Liam Zidar and Niko Douvalakis, recipients of the 2022 Elyssa’s Mission Scholarship. The scholarship awards up to $5,000 to high school juniors and seniors who have successfully applied the ACT (acknowledge, care, tell) to help themselves or a friend, peer or community member and have promoted the Signs of Suicide (SOS)/ACT message in their community.
Featured on Elyssa's Mission website, Loyola's scholarship recipients reflected on their work with Hope Squad, the scholarship, and the lessons they will carry with them to college. Read more below:
“Throughout my high school career, I have really tried to embrace being on Hope Squad ever since I was nominated in 2018,” wrote Liam Zidar ’22. “Whether it was spreading mental health awareness by wearing my Hope Squad shirt outside of school to baseball lifts or reducing the stigma by talking about topics like suicide with some of my best friends, being an advocate has become engrained into my life.” Zidar will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall.
Heading to Elmhurst University, Niko Douvalakis ’22 remarked, "I’m extremely honored to have received this scholarship. I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Hope Squad all four years of high school. I was surrounded by wonderful counselors who helped us learn the importance of mental health and suicide awareness."
"I feel so honored to be awarded with a scholarship from an organization that means so much to me," reflected Lauren Dziedzic '22. "Elyssa's Mission has given my school and myself numerous opportunities to be educated on suicide prevention and learn how to apply the "Acknowledge, Care, Tell" technique. I will use this scholarship to continue pursuing my passion of mental health advocacy in college and bring back what I learn to the Loyola Academy Hope Squad." Dziedzic will be attending the University of Miami in the fall.
Bradley Orzada ‘22, who will be attending Loyola University Chicago, wrote, "Beyond the honor which comes with receiving an award, I would have to say that this award is just a very nice affirmation…This award means a lot to me because it confirms that I am indeed doing the right thing."
Elyssa's Mission provides resources to help prevent teen suicide. The organization funds and implements the evidence-based SOS Signs of Suicide in 250 middle and high schools in Illinois (19 counties, 107 suburbs). To see a full list of recipients and to learn more, click here.