August 10, 2023
The recipient of this year’s College Completion Scholarship from Mars Hill University is dedicated to improving his local community. Quinn Powers works at Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Recovery Living Ministry. In his role in peer support, he helps homeless men facing challenges of mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and unemployment.
He will begin his studies this fall in Mars Hill’s psychology program, taking the online degree track offered through Adult and Graduate Studies.
“I want to get my bachelor’s degree with the plan of getting a master’s degree so I can become an EMDR specialist,” said Powers. “That stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It helps people to overcome trauma. I really believe that trauma is the root of a lot of people’s depression, anxieties, substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder; I think it all stems back to the hard times that we go through in life, and I want to help people to get through those.”
MHU President Tony Floyd called Powers a few weeks ago to tell him he had won, and today presented him with a certificate representing the scholarship award.
Floyd told him, “You are the perfect recipient of this: you give of yourself to other people; you make things happen for people less fortunate; you want to get your degree. This is your ticket to get your degree here and continue to do great things. We just ask you to pay it forward when you get out of here and keep the tradition of Mars Hill service alive and well; we know you will.”
“I have a history of substance use and mental health disorder, myself, and people in my family and my friends,” Powers said.”They say that if you used to be broke, you can help people who are now broke, so I plan on helping people that are currently experiencing substance use disorder, mental health disorder, alcohol use disorder, with the degree that I get here.”
The friend who nominated Powers for the scholarship contest describes him as someone with an authentic “passion for humanity” who “has touched many hearts throughout his time in the field of social services and has the drive and potential to assist many more as he advances in his chosen career path.”
“I had an amazing experience at Mars Hill,” said Kris Rathbone, a 2021 Mars Hill graduate, who works with Powers. “I feel like there are things that I daily use in my professional life as a case manager that came directly from some of the amazing professors here that I had had in the psychology department, and so I’m forever grateful for that. That led me to being extremely comfortable with nominating Quinn to come here because I already knew and fully stood behind, with a passion, this university and the education that it offers.”
In addition to his work with ABCCM, Powers works with the nonprofit Musicians for Overdose Prevention, volunteers with Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness, and shares his passion for music and community through other projects including a music production for Claxton Elementary School.
This is the second year Mars Hill has held the scholarship contest, which awards one full-tuition scholarship to an adult who wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in business, education, psychology, or social work through Mars Hill’s Adult and Graduate Studies program.