AUSTIN, Texas – Sarah Fankhauser, a graduate student in The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work, is one of 11 students in Texas to receive the 2012 Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health. The $5,000 scholarships are awarded to graduate students of social work who have demonstrated a strong commitment to providing mental health services after graduation.

Fankhauser earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from Southwestern University in 2008. Soon after graduating, she became a bilingual AmeriCorps member at Casa Marianella, helping uninsured immigrants receive mental health counseling and transition services. Through this experience, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work and plans to use her degree to provide mental health services to underrepresented populations in Texas.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health,” Fankhauser said. “This opportunity provides me with the means to pursue my professional interests in the field of social work. My intention is to provide mental health services to Spanish-speaking children and families in the Austin area. It gives me great hope to know that the Hogg Foundation and my community support me in this endeavor.

Previously, Fankhauser worked at Round Rock Independent School District’s Teen Parent Program where she provided counseling to young men and women who were prospective parents. During the 2012-2013 school year, she will complete her final internship at the Austin Child Guidance Center.

The Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health, established in 1956, addresses the need for more trained social workers who can deliver quality mental health services for Texans.

“Over fifty years after this scholarship program was established by Miss Hogg, it continues to be significant as Texas faces a widening gap between demand for and availability of mental health professionals,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.