Media Contact:
Lori Millner
The National Children’s Cancer Society


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

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 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
Engehardt Scholars Hometown School attending 2016-17
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 To read all articles and white papers published by the NCCS, visit The National Children’s Cancer Society is a 501C(3) organization that has provided over $63 million in direct financial assistance to more than 40,000 children with cancer. To contact the NCCS, call (314) 241-1600. You can also visit the NCCS on Facebook Facebook and Twitter.

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