Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School Founder Funds Scholarships

Awards bolster financial access for three students of color
Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minn. (June 14, 2021) — Dr. Tim Sheehan, founder of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School, and his wife Mary have been consistent donors to the Graduate School, and this year they funded $15,000 to provide three outstanding students of color with a $5,000 scholarship to support their summer semester at the school.

"As we know, substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders know no cultural boundaries," said Dr. Sheehan. "The pandemic has put a glaring spotlight on dire disparities, including access to help and recovery. While our world has become more diverse, the supply of counselors has not. Now is the time to act, to make access to the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School easier for students of color."

For more than 36 years, Dr. Sheehan, who retired in 2017, led a remarkable career at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, starting as a psychologist and then progressing to program director, vice president and, ultimately, founder of what is now called the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. His vision and leadership helped shape the way prospective counselors are taught about substance use issues.

To date, more than 1,000 students from nearly every state in the U.S., three territories and 43 countries across the globe, have earned master's degrees from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School. It is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit system of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.

"Hazelden Betty Ford is striving to broaden its banner in many ways, and the Graduate School is helping lead the way. Our online graduate programs have already expanded across the nation, reaching students from many cultures, and the time is right to do more," said Dr. Sheehan. "Many of our graduates work within Hazelden Betty Ford's national system of care, and many others are employed with state, county and other nonprofit programs around the country, serving communities and touching lives across the socioeconomic spectrum. By preparing more students, and particularly students from diverse backgrounds, to be counselors, we can reach many more individuals, families and communities often left behind."

The scholarship recipients

  • Tina Tseng, an alcohol and drug counselor, plans to become a licensed professional of counseling in community or hospital settings, and to teach and train others who have the desire to follow the same path in helping people with mental health and substance use challenges. She has a passion for social justice, and said, "My heart told me that as an Asian American who has experienced mental health and substance use challenges, my story would help others." Her anticipated graduation date is December 2023.
  • Archana Sathy will graduate in December 2022, and believes winning this scholarship made her late brother "proud." She hopes to work with adolescents who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Bryan Garcia's interest in counseling stems from his work with Minnesota Opera's nonprofit Music Out Loud, which brings music programs into high-risk schools. On track to graduate in December 2021, he said the scholarship provides financial stability to allow him to focus on his studies and clinical internships, and begin his "counseling journey and the pursuit of helping others in the greatest capacity possible."

"The Sheehans' generosity is so deeply appreciated and will make a difference in the lives and careers of our students," said Valerie Slaymaker, PhD, vice president of education and research at Hazelden Betty Ford and the chief academic officer and provost of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. "Donors like the Sheehans make such a profound contribution to our school and our mission."

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.