AUSTIN (KXAN) — Saturday marked the first year of Erik Kyle Hanson Memorial Scholarship aimed at starting the difficult conversation in schools about student mental health and the effects of anxiety.
Erik Hanson was a 2017 graduate of Lake Travis High School, a varsity swimmer and Eagle Scout. Hanson died last August, and a scholarship was named in his honor.
The scholarship was created by Amelia Floyd the mother of one of Hanson’s friends. The advisory board for the scholarship is made up of friends of the Hanson family, community counselors, Lake Travis High School Faculty and students.
“By establishing the Erik Hanson Scholarship, it is our hope to open the dialogue in our schools and community that mental illness and anxiety are no different and should not be treated any differently than other diseases,” said Floyd. “Persons suffering from depression and anxiety need to feel supported and safe in expressing these internal, hidden pains and strife; and those closest to them need to understand how to assist them in seeking treatment.”
The scholarship will be awarded to a 2019 LTHS senior football team member who encapsulates the ideals of selflessness, community service, leadership and teamwork. The recipient must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and will not be receiving an athletic scholarship.
The tagline for the scholarship is “Engage – Heal” an acronym for Hanson’s name.
A mini-golf tournament is being held at the Wild Kitchen and Bar on Highway 71 in Bee Cave Saturday and Sunday to support the inaugural year of the scholarship.