I am pleased to announce the creation of the first annual Rodney Waldron Memorial Scholarship. Rodney Waldron was a peer specialist who worked for the NY State Office of Mental Health in Manhattan and the Bronx. He used his own experience of addiction, abuse, incarceration, and mental health struggles to help others in need. He was a member of Hearing Voices NYC. Rodney presented at ISPS conferences about his own experience as a recipient of services and as a group facilitator, giving a powerful, straightforward, and insightful message. He was also a close friend and collaborator of my husband’s at Manhattan Psychiatric Center, where he co-founded the first hearing voices group; consulted with treatment teams, and sat on the incident review committee. He also developed a mentoring and supervision model for Howie the Harp interns as well as other peer specialists. Reflecting the sides of his own family, Rodney alway showed a keen sensitivity in particular to the background of the black and Latino people with whom he worked. In these ways he set a new standard for peer specialist work.
In honor of Rodney’s work, I am creating an annual scholarship fund in his name that is to be used to defray expenses for conference attendees of color. The scholarship will cover the student, family member or expert-by-experience conference fees for two people of color plus an additional $100 for each attendee (if needed) to be used for lodging or transportation. Applicants should write a brief statement explaining how this scholarship would benefit them, their interest in the conference, and an estimate of travel and lodging expenses. Inquiries and applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications for the 16th Annual ISPS-US Meeting in Portland, Oregon is October 20, 2017.
Jessica Arenella, ISPS-US