Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Awards College Scholarships to Students Impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease

(July 2, 2018) —  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America recently awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 30 high school students from 25 states across the country who submitted essays for AFA’s annual Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness Scholarship Essay Contest.  AFA has awarded nearly $250,000 in college scholarships since the competition began in 2008.

Thousands of college-bound seniors entered the competition, which asks high school seniors to describe how Alzheimer’s disease has impacted their lives and what they’ve learned about themselves and their families in the face of this disease. The heartfelt stories shared the emotions, challenges and triumphs of caregiving, whether for a loved one or someone met through volunteering and how the teens planned to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

“As the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease continues to rise, many teens are finding themselves directly affected, whether it’s caring for a parent, a grandparent, or volunteering in an assisted living facility,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s president and chief executive officer. “We were humbled by the stories these teens shared and by the courage, love and optimism each of them brought to their situation.  Each of them cares about making an impact, and their eagerness to make a difference in the world and help those affected by Alzheimer’s is inspiring.”

The grand-prize winner, Laurence Crandon of Clarksville, MD, received a $5,000 scholarship for his winning essay about his grandfather’s bout with Alzheimer’s disease.  He described how taking on more responsibility as a caregiver for his grandfather as the disease progressed taught him about compassion, patience, and the importance of family.

Dani Moore, from Pendleton, OR, earned first runner up and a $2,500 award for her essay about her grandmother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.  Her essay focused on the love and devotion of her grandfather who, despite the many challenges caused by Alzheimer’s disease, cared tirelessly for her grandmother and did everything he could to keep her at home for as long as possible.  It showed her a love and selflessness that she had never seen before.

Second runner-up, Brooke Serra, from Pittsburgh, PA, won $1,500 for her essay about her great-grandmother’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease.  Brooke described how it actually brought her family closer together and taught her about loyalty, respect and how to adapt to unfamiliar situations.

The other scholarship competition winners are:

Third runners-up:

  • Cydney Black – Hackettstown, NJ
  • Kyah Davey –  Ririe, ID
  • Sarah Birch –  North Attleboro, MA
  • Quinn Thompson – Fairfield, CT
  • Taylor Pennington – Gilbert, AZ
  • Annie Wolfert –  Fishers, IN
  • James Pedigo – Floodwood, MN
  • Braden Gilbertson – Bismarck, ND
  • Alexander Cole – Hillsborough, NJ
  • Samantha Moser, of Cincinnati, OH

Fourth runners-up:

  • Catherine Becker – New York, NY
  • Haley Trebil – Edina, MN
  • Megan Jackson – Crofton, MD
  • Angela Velazquez – Tucson, AZ
  • Ashleigh Gundy – Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Mary Cannon – Lewes, DE
  • Skylar Gordon – Pismo Beach, CA
  • Anisha Mahenthiran – Indianapolis, IN
  • James Ferry – Bayonne, NJ
  • Nicole Ferraro – Bethpage, NY

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jonathan Lolar – Charleston, SC
  • Nimisha Prasad – Oswego, IL
  • Sarah Jehl – Grayson, GA
  • Abbygail Pollack – Orlando, FL
  • Averie Elsass – Massillon, OH
  • Brandon Salazar – Brownsville, TX
  • Olivia Grassel – Boscobel, WI

The third runners-up received $1,000; the fourth runners-up each received $750; and the honorable mentions received $500 scholarships.

For more information about AFA’s Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness Scholarship Essay Contest, please click here.