Childhood Cancer Survivors Across the Country Receive College Scholarships From The National Children’s Cancer Society

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Forty college-bound childhood cancer survivors throughout the United States will have fewer financial burdens this year, thanks to scholarships they’ve been awarded from The National Children’s Cancer Society’s (NCCS) Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship Program. The program provides financial assistance to young adults as they move forward with their lives after cancer, helping them to pursue their education and career goals.

Forty college-bound childhood cancer survivors throughout the United States will have fewer financial burdens this year, thanks to scholarships they’ve been awarded from The National Children’s Cancer Society’s (NCCS) Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship Program. The program provides financial assistance to young adults as they move forward with their lives after cancer, helping them to pursue their education and career goals.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a fitting time to remind everyone who knows a child with cancer that their future can be bright.

“College is a goal for many childhood cancer survivors. We want to do everything we can to help them attain that goal and pursue their careers,” said Mark Stolze, president and CEO of the NCCS. “These young people are courageous and resilient - we are honored to help them fulfill their dreams.”

Riley Steiner, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Miami in Oxford, OH, received a Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship last year and was awarded one again this Fall. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at 17 during the summer before her senior year of high school. She has been receiving chemotherapy since that time and will finish treatment in October.

Riley said that without the scholarship from the NCCS, she would need to take a student loan. “It definitely helped my family financially, and also helped my parents keep me debt-free up to this point in my college journey.”

The scholarship requires recipients to donate time to help other children with cancer and their families. Last year, Riley served as a mentor to a younger girl who was battling the same type of cancer. This month she is speaking at the American Legion Children and Youth Conference about the importance of volunteering.

“My goal in the speech is to emphasize how valuable volunteers are when kids are in scary situations like cancer,” she said. “I had so many people who gave time to help me during my treatment. They made things a lot better for me.”

Other scholarship recipients also are expressing eagerness to start their volunteer work with the NCCS, said Beyond the Cure Coordinator Pam Gabris. “They are some pretty amazing young adults and they have a very positive impact on the organization.”

Beyond the Cure is the NCCS’s survivorship program, which prepares survivors and their families for life after cancer. In addition to scholarships for young adult survivors, it offers them opportunities to connect and encourage one another and assists them in learning how to manage their long-term healthcare needs.

To date, nearly $800,000 in scholarships has been awarded to childhood cancer survivors throughout the country. The NCCS is extremely grateful to the Englehardt Family Foundation and Centene Corporation for their generous support of the program.

This year’s scholarship winners span the country and will attend a diverse group of schools in the 2016-17 academic year. The recipients are:

Centene Scholars         Hometown        School attending 2016-17
Olivia Bliven            Magnolia TX        University of Houston
JoAnne Chung            Holland OH        University of Michigan
Vanessa Perez            Sheboygan WI        Florida State University
Riley Steiner            Dublin OH        Miami University
William Weishaar        Webster Grove MO    Missouri University of Science & Technology
John Worm            Grand Rapids MI    Grand Valley State University

Englehardt Scholars                
Jessica Allen            Concord CA        St. Mary’s College of California
Cara Antonaccio        Long Valley NJ        Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Alyssa Baker            Oklahoma City OK    University of Oklahoma College of Law
Cooper Barghols        Oro Valley AZ        Southern Methodist University
Harrison Bond        New Orleans LA    Vanderbilt University
William Brennan        Mt. Sinai NY        Stony Brook University
Lenn Brown            Rockaway NJ        Syracuse University
Dean Brownworth    Merrick NY        University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Farah Contractor        Churchville PA        University of Pennsylvania
Virginia Finigan-Carter     Randolph Center VT    Eckerd College
Madelyn Giegling        St. Louis MO        Truman State University
Kristen Glavee        San Ramon CA        Azusa Pacific University
Mikaella Granzen        Princeton NJ        Wesleyan University
Luke Hertzler            Harrisonburg VA    Hesston College
Kodi Jones            Battlefield MO        Ozarks Technical Community College
Neha Kundagrami    Bethesda MD        University of Maryland, College Park
Morgan Matthews    Grantsville UT        University of Utah
Nishant Mysore        San Diego CA        University of California-San Diego
Kevin Nguyen        Moorpark CA        University of California-Los Angeles
Lacey O’Neal            Virginia Beach VA    Old Dominion University
Grace Padilla            Prescott AZ        Westminster College of Salt Lake City
Gabriella Palasthy    Virginia Beach VA     Old Dominion University
Braeden Paskett        Parachute CO        Brigham Young University
Ashley Persson        Winchester CA        California State University
Sarah Pierce            Providence RI        Stanford University
Halle Redfearn        Laguna Beach CA     University of California-Berkeley
Benjamin Seeley        Tustin CA        Chapman University
Daniel Shank-Rowe    Centreville VA        Virginia Tech
Allison Taylor            Marietta GA        Kennesaw State University
Catherine Terry        Santa Clara CA        Occidental College
Sophia Tilley            Benton AR        Arkansas Tech University
Lily Upp                    Berkley MI        University of Michigan
Cecilia Wang            Beaverton OR        Robert D. Clark Honors College
Bethany Wells        Cedar Hills UT        Brigham Young University

About The National Children’s Cancer Society
The mission of The National Children's Cancer Society is to provide emotional, financial and educational support to children with cancer, their families and survivors. To learn more about the NCCS and its support services, visit thenccs.org. The National Children’s Cancer Society is a 501C(3) organization that has provided over $62 million in direct financial assistance to more than 38,000 children with cancer. To contact the NCCS, call (314) 241-1600. You can also find the NCCS on Facebook and Twitter.

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Lori Millner
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