The Melanie Foundation was created in 2006 to honor the life and legacy of Melanie Merola O’Donnell,
with the mission to foster support for mental health issues. Melanie lived a life of giving, focusing her career on relieving suffering inflicted by mental illness.
Melanie died at the age of 33 while in the midst of doctoral studies in psychology. Her family and friends subsequently collaborated to bring The Melanie Foundation to life,
with the initial goal of providing scholarships to people who had the best chance of extending Melanie’s legacy, graduate students in a mental health field.
The Melanie Foundation’s most significant fundraiser, The Saratoga Palio, has become a signature event in Saratoga each fall.
Its success has helped The Melanie Foundation expand its support of aspiring mental health practitioners.
The success also has enabled The Melanie Foundation to give back to Saratoga Springs – the community that gave us Melanie.
Since 2009, The Melanie Foundation has awarded a scholarship in her name to an outstanding post-graduate student in the field of mental health. In addition, a portion of funds raised each year are donated to local nonprofit organizations. Past recipients include Saratoga Bridges, the mental health unit of Saratoga Hospital, Franklin Community Center, World’s Window, Jake’s Help from Heaven, Saratoga WarHorse, Saratoga Center for the Family, The Shelters of Saratoga, and The Senior Support Services of the Saratoga Senior Center.
In 2017, a donation of $15,000 was made to The Senior Support Services of the Saratoga Senior Center. The Senior Support Services of the Saratoga Senior Center is working to empower seniors to achieve and maintain personal independence and individual well being.
In 2016, a donation of $12,500 was made to Shelters of Saratoga. The mission of Shelters of Saratoga is to provide individuals with safe shelter, supportive services and sustainable strategies to help end homelessness in the greater Saratoga region.
Also in 2016, a donation of $2,500 was made to the Night Out for You organization. Night Out for You is a not for profit organization whose mission is creating an experience for an adult undergoing cancer treatment, allowing them to remember who they are by forgetting their diagnosis for a few hours.
In 2015, a donation of $12,500 was made to Saratoga Center for the Family. The center’s mission is to strengthen children, families and the community by reducing the effects of abuse, trauma and family dysfunction through advocacy, education and mental health therapy.
In 2014, a donation of $15,000 was made to Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. Saratoga WarHorse provides a 3-day confidential, peer-to-peer, equine-based program to veterans struggling with the effects of PTSD, sleeplessness or suicidal thoughts.
In 2013, a donation of $10,000 was made to Jake’s Help From Heaven. The Jake’s Help From Heaven Foundation, founded in 2011, is a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting individuals with multiple medical challenges and disabilities.
In 2012, a donation of $7,500 was made to World’s Window. Word’s Window, Inc.’s mission seeks to develop, support, and expand education initiatives and programs in areas of need throughout Belize, New York and beyond, thereby providing hope and possibility, empowering individuals and communities for a brighter future.
In 2011 a donation of $7,500 was made to Franklin Community Center. Franklin Community Center is a non-profit organization providing basic necessities and services to less fortunate individuals and families in Saratoga. Their mission is to work collaboratively with individuals and other agencies to provide services that will improve the quality of life and foster a sense of neighborhood, community and family for all people.
In 2010 a donation of $6,500 was made to the Saratoga Hospital Inpatient Mental Health Unit. The Saratoga Hospital Mental Health unit offers the community mental health services through their 16-bed inpatient Mental Health Unit.
In 2009 a donation of $5,000 was made to Saratoga Bridges.
The Melanie Foundation Scholarship is a $2,500 scholarship to be awarded to a candidate pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree in the mental health field.
The scholarship will be awarded to a candidate for one year. Candidates may reapply for additional years.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
What are the application requirements?
All application materials must be sent together as a PDF in one email, with the reference letters arriving separately with the applicant’s name in the subject line. Please be clear about this when requesting a reference. If your documents exceed the amount of space allowed in one email you may send multiple emails but please do so during the same time frame so they arrive together.
As an option you may choose one of the following quotes to incorporate into your statement:
“You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
“If we all did things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
~Thomas Alva Edison
All applications are due by March 5, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be personally notified and publicly announced by June 30, 2018. All other applicants will be notified electronically.
The Melanie Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, Vietnam-era or disabled veteran status in its selection process.
If you have questions, email us at: email@example.com
Please send all materials to: firstname.lastname@example.org