Hogg Foundation awards bilingual scholarships to two UTSA graduate students

Federico Cantu
Jennifer Quinones

UTSA graduate students Federico Cantu (top) and Jennifer Quinones

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(May 18, 2011)--University of Texas at San Antonio graduate students Federico Cantu and Jennifer Quinones have been awarded scholarships from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to support bilingual mental health services in Texas. Both are students in the Department of Social Work in the College of Public Policy.

Cantu returned to UTSA for graduate studies after receiving his bachelor's degree in social work. He also earned a master's in business administration through the University of Phoenix. Cantu works with the Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio and formerly was with the Department of Family and Protective Services in Houston.

"My ultimate goal is to open an education center where both individuals and their families can learn about disorders and treatment options," he said. "Family support is one of the best methods to help manage an individual's diagnosis."

Quinones also returned to UTSA for a master's degree after receiving a bachelor's degree in psychology. In addition to her interest in social work, Quinones spent time working as a research scientist associate for the UTSA Department of Biology.

"As a social worker, I plan to tap into the knowledge I have gained through my studies to better serve the Spanish-speaking population in Texas," she said.

The scholarships are part of a statewide strategy to increase Spanish-language mental health services. The strategy has proven so successful that the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is investing an additional $1.5 million to extend the program three more years.

The foundation pays tuition and fees for new bilingual students entering graduate social work programs in Texas. In return, students agree to provide mental health services in Texas for a period equal to the timeframe of the scholarship. The foundation has awarded 82 scholarships in just two years.

The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James Hogg to improve mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.