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Shyanne had more or less stopped talking—a disorder called selective mutism. She was depressed and anxious, had stopped going to school, and couldn’t stand to be touched. Her grandmother was doing her best to homeschool her but admits the 12-year-old was learning very little.
Then someone told her grandmother, Jill, that the best program in the country for a child with symptoms as severe as Shyanne’s was the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP). She and her husband, who had adopted Shyanne when she was four because her parents struggled with substance use disorders, scraped together the money to send her there for a month. She made progress, but staff felt that she would benefit greatly from another two months at the outpatient program. The family knew they couldn’t afford it.
That’s where the David Tepper Charitable Foundation comes into the story. Thanks to a scholarship fund established by the foundation, Shyanne, who lives in New Hampshire, was able to continue attending MAMP for eight more weeks. The foundation made a remarkable $750,000 gift to the hospital to help families who struggle to afford treatment in its child and adolescent programs. “A family member was treated at McLean, and we were so impressed with the treatment they received that we decided to establish a scholarship fund to help families access McLean’s world-class treatment who otherwise couldn’t afford it,” said David Tepper.
Since the gift was made in 2017, the Tepper Foundation scholarships have helped more than 30 families access care from a wide range of McLean’s child and adolescent programs—and will help many more. As in Shyanne’s story, the support provided by these scholarships has been life changing and, in many cases, lifesaving.
Shyanne thrived at MAMP and now attends a small therapeutic school where she is a straight-A student. “MAMP was absolutely great and the scholarship was a lifesaver,” said Jill. “She’s talking again, and she’ll even lay her head on my shoulder now.”