Wilton High School senior Julia Morneau was one of five high school students presented with Rising Scientist Awards by the Child Mind Institute on Oct. 18, during its On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium in New York City.

The Child Mind Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders, and its Rising Scientist Awards are given to New York-area high school students who demonstrate extraordinary promise in research in the fields of child and adolescent mental health or pediatric neuroscience.

Last spring, Morneau created programming for a mental health awareness week at Wilton’s four public schools in order to educate and bring awareness to students, and let them know that not only is it OK to talk about mental health and mental illness, but that “mental health disorders affect people all around us,” she told The Bulletin.

As a Rising Scientist winner, Morneau receives a $2,000 scholarship towards college.

The Rising Scientist Awards are designed to encourage young researchers’ academic pursuits and introduce them to the scientific community. Each spring, the Child Mind Institute and the Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center of CUNY invite New York-area high schools to nominate one exemplary 11th grade science student candidate for this honor. The nomination is based on outstanding achievement and interest in child and adolescent mental health or pediatric neuroscience research and a commitment to understanding and addressing difficult scientific questions, as evidenced by special projects, presentations and/or publications.