Scholarship Paves Way for Careers in Counseling and Honors Woman Who Struggled with Mental Health Issues

Posted October 23, 2012 

A new scholarship has been established for students pursuing a degree in Mental Health and Human Service at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC).

The scholarship was established in honor of Nikolina Stoyanova, a 24-year-old Portland woman who died April 20, 2012, after struggling many years with mental health issues.

The Nikolina Stoyanova Memorial Scholarship was initiated by several individuals and organizations that knew Stoyanova or had connections with her in Oregon. J. Michael Schultz, one of the initial donors along with his wife Shirley Loesch, said the scholarship “was established to honor Nikolina’s endurance and struggle to overcome health impacts of early child abuse.”

Adopted from Bulgaria at age 4, Stoyanova’s life and tragic death in a Portland psychiatric hospital were documented in a June 30 article in The Oregonian newspaper.

“She lived an unbelievably difficult life, and her story has touched so many people,” says Schultz. “Nikolina dreamed of attending college and pursuing a career. She cherished her friendships and had a lot to offer.”

Schultz hopes the scholarship will create a positive memorial tribute to Stoyanova as well as help students who wish to pursue careers in behavioral health.

The Mental Health and Human Service degree program at MHCC offers training and internships that transform lives for students and community members. Students pursuing this degree typically work with children, at-risk youths, individuals with addictions and those with mental health issues.

For more information on the degree, visit To make a donation to the MHCC Foundation for the Nikolina Stoyanova Memorial Scholarship, visit To apply for scholarships at MHCC, visit

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 Last Modified: 10/23/2012 03:57:19 PM