Foundation Scholarship Recipient Spreads Awareness on Mental Health
Faith Dempsey received one of two Springfield High School (SHS) scholarships this year, an award made annually by the Casey Feldman Foundation since 2010 at Casey’s high school alma mater. Faith will be studying biology at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and hopes to positively impact people through her focus on mental health.
Of the 50 applicants, this year’s recipients were chosen based solely on their response to the essay question “Twenty years from now, where do you see yourself and what impact do you think your life will have had on others, your community or the world?” Faith’s response was presented as a Ted Talk written from the perspective of her future self. In her essay, Faith stated that she plans to attend medical school and complete her residency in order to become a pediatric psychiatrist.
Faith’s interest in mental health began her seventh-grade year and was further reinforced her sophomore year of high school when COVID-19 began. As the world shut down, Faith said she found herself grieving, spending less time with friends and spending more time on social media. She found healthy ways to cope and soon began advocating for mental health in high school.
While at SHS, Faith founded the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) chapter in order to educate her peers about the different situations children face when trying to access basic necessities. The chapter started with seven people and grew to 140 members with more than $5,000 donated to efforts for the Syrian refugee crisis.
In addition to founding the SHS UNICEF chapter, Faith also co-founded Life of Giving with her mother. Life of Giving is a non-profit that provides healthcare and job opportunities through donations in Ghana. While in Ghana, Faith passed out food and clothing to communities in need, similar to her missionary work two years earlier when she handed out food and supplies to schools and students in Honduras.
From these experiences, Faith wrote in her Ted Talk, “I worked day in and day out changing the stigma about mental illness and making it just as much a global issue as world hunger.” I worked with organizations such as UNICEF to make sure that mental health resources reach underdeveloped countries.”
Dianne Anderson, co-founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation, said Faith “exhibits compassion through her focus on mental illness as well as a global perspective on wanting to bring treatment for mental illness to underdeveloped countries.”
In addition to her involvement in UNICEF and Life of Giving, Faith has also been involved with the Springfield Representative of Delaware County Youth Education Alliance, the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon, Lacrosse, Students Against Destructive Decisions, the National Honor Society and many others. Within these organizations and clubs, Faith has served as a leader, captain, co-president, president, secretary and supervisor.
In a brief summary, Faith’s SHS counselor said that Faith sets an example for responsibility and hard work. “Faith Dempsey exhibits the qualities of a natural leader as she can relate to others and motivate them to do their very best,” the counselor said.
Through her dedication to academics, extracurriculars and volunteer services, Faith has received the Exemplary Volunteer Award, the Springfield High School Pillar of Service Award, the Junior Book Award, the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science: First Award, the President’s Education Award Program, the Lacrosse Athletic Award and the Springfield Lions Club President’s Certificate of Recognition.
Not having seen Faith’s resume, transcript or counselor’s summary until after she was chosen for the scholarship, Dianne Anderson said, “We were impressed beyond belief with Faith’s academics, extracurricular activities, community service and missionary work. All of it reinforced our belief that we had chosen an outstanding and deserving young woman for the scholarship that bears Casey’s name.”
As Faith prepares for college and continues to advocate for mental health, she hopes to change the lives for people locally and worldwide.