The family of Bianca Devins, whose tragic death in 2019 shocked the community, announced today the first award from the Bianca Michelle Devins Memorial Scholarship Fund. Members of the Devins and Williams families created the fund at The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties last year to support students pursuing a degree in psychology to continue Bianca’s dream of helping adolescents with mental illnesses.
The first recipient, Tiana Guzman of Utica, is currently studying in the Psychology Child Life Program at Utica College and is looking to pursue graduate study in art therapy. Given Bianca’s strong love for art, family members say Guzman is a great choice. They shared the following statement:
“Bianca’s goal was to become a psychologist to help adolescents with mental health issues. From her own experience, Bianca knew how important this work is. Bianca was a talented artist who used art to work through her own mental health issues. Our family created this scholarship with The Community Foundation so that Bianca’s dream would be carried on through others. We wish Tiana the greatest of success in pursuing her career and ask that she keep Bianca’s spirit with her as she accomplishes their shared goals.”
Kim Devins, Bianca’s Mother and Best Friend
“I was very touched by Bianca’s story and am truly grateful for receiving this award,” said Guzman. “As a single mother with a one-year-old son, this scholarship will help to alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with college. I can’t thank the family enough for that.”
Guzman is a member of the National Honor Society for Leadership and Success, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. In addition, she runs a small online business selling custom-made painted pieces in Utica and surrounding areas.
Donations to the fund can be made at foundationhoc.org/bianca.