The application period for The National Children’s Cancer Society’s (NCCS) 11th year of Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship has opened. The NCCS knows the effects of childhood cancer don’t end with treatment. That’s why the organization awards college scholarships to childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation.
“It is so critical to give scholarships to childhood cancer survivors,” explained VP of Patient & Family Services, Julie Komanetsky. “Unfortunately, all the associated costs incurred when dealing with cancer can really set a family back and deplete both discretionary income and savings for higher education.”
The NCCS increased the number of scholarships awarded for the 2018-2019 school year from 40 to 58 thanks to the generosity of the Centene Corporation and the Engelhardt Family Foundation.
Scholarships are awarded to childhood cancer survivors under the age of 25 who were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 18. Students must be a United States citizen, live and attend school in the U.S., and must be accepted into a post-secondary school for the 2019 fall semester. Applications can be found here and must be postmarked by March 30, 2019.
The newest class of scholarship recipients pushes the NCCS well over the $1-million mark granted to survivors of childhood cancer for their college education. Alumni of the scholarship program have gone on to a variety of careers including those in pediatric oncology, biomedical engineering and social work.
Anthony, a current scholarship recipient, is thankful for the help he received from the NCCS as he starts on the challenging math and science classes needed for a future in medicine. As a junior, Anthony expected the intensity that comes with nearing the end of high school to make decisions about his future. What he did not expect was to be diagnosed with lymphoma.
“I suddenly felt that I had no control, and that my plans for the future had been cruelly snatched away from me. However, I soon realized I did have a choice. I chose to fight. After my treatments were stabilized for lymphoma, I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as clinically depressed. Again, I had a choice, I chose to live,” Anthony said.
After Anthony was pronounced cancer-free, he channeled his fears of all the things he couldn’t control in life into the energy required to tenaciously approach his goals.
“I am more than a mental health survivor. I am an African-American male. Although the expectation of me is low, I will set the bar high. I will utilize my resources to show I am able to do anything I put my mind to do. I am a survivor. I will live in the moment, be confident in my contribution and intentional in my desire to change the world,” he concluded.
Each class of NCCS Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship students gives back to the childhood cancer community in significant ways. Through the program, they all contribute 15 hours of community service for programs and activities for the NCCS. Every year they make a profound difference by mentoring younger children with cancer and organizing special events for fellow survivors of childhood cancer.