SUMMIT – For “would-be” college-bound students who have lost a parent or guardian to breast cancer, or have themselves been diagnosed with breast cancer, the dream of a college education may feel as unreachable as the stars. Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, provides scholarships to students whose lives have been affected by breast cancer—scholarships that can ease the significant financial burden of attending college.
The scholarship awards $10,000 per year for up to four years, for a student to attend a state university in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Komen scholarship recipients are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, financial need and demonstrated leadership potential, and applicants must be no older than 25 years as of May 2012. Scholarship recipients serve as “Komen Collegiate Ambassadors” and must volunteer their time to breast cancer awareness activities for at least 20 hours per semester.
“Losing a parent to breast cancer is devastating in so many ways,” says Lisa Gallipoli, executive director of the North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Nothing can fill the void, but one thing we can do is assist students in beginning or continuing a college career. This scholarship program is a way to help students overcome obstacles related to breast cancer and realize their dreams of getting a college degree.”
Cristina Nemeth of Elmwood Park lost her mother to breast cancer when she was five years old. Six years ago, she was awarded a Komen Scholarship—the first student in Komen North Jersey’s service region to receive one. The scholarship enabled Cristina to return to Ramapo College to finish her degree in Biology.
“Susan G. Komen gave me the opportunity to receive the education I needed,” said Nemeth. “When I was sitting in the room for my final scholarship interview, I promised that I would make a difference against breast cancer. At the time, I just didn’t know how I would do it. Then I finally figured out how. I would hold a benefit in my mother’s honor, because I want a world where no child loses a parent to breast cancer. The money we raise would go to the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Affiliate to help achieve their goal of a world without breast cancer.”
And so, on May 12, at Portobello Banquets in Oakland, Nemeth hosted “A Pink Remembrance: A Tribute to Theresa Urspruch Nemeth,” in memory of her mother who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1991 at the age of 34. Over 200 people attended the event, and all the net proceeds—a remarkable sum of $10,828—were donated to the North Jersey Affiliate.
Susan G. Komen is accepting scholarship applications beginning Sept. 15. Visit www.komen.org/scholarship for more information on requirements, and to apply. Applications must be received by Nov. 15.
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