Apply for a Scholarship

During PAF's daily interactions with patients, PAF staff often interface with patients who either themselves or a loved one has experienced the impact of a chronic illness or life threatening disease on one's post-secondary education.

In 2000, Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Nancy Davenport-Ennis established the Scholarship for Survivors program to honor these individuals by offering educational scholarships to individuals who have suffered (or are suffering) a life threatening disease or chronic condition. These students have, despite their disease/condition, excelled academically, served the community, and desire to pursue a secondary education.

Applications for 2018-2019 Academic Term

The purpose of our scholarship program is to provide support to individuals that are legal residents of the United States of America, under the age of 25, who have been diagnosed with or treated for cancer, a chronic, or life threatening debilitating disease within the past five years.

On behalf of Patient Advocate Foundation’s Board of Directors and Scholarship Review Committee, we thank you for your interest in our 2018-2019 Scholarship for Survivors program.  At this point, the deadline for application submissions has passed for the 2018-2019 school year.  Application forms for the 2019-2020 school year will be posted here in the fall of 2018.  


Scholarship Impact

To date, PAF (along with other gracious funders) has awarded 83 scholarships totaling over $506,000; of which 44 have achieved fully degreed graduation and 12 are still pursuing their course of study.

The purpose of our scholarship program is to provide support to individuals that are legal residents of the United States of America, under the age of 25, who have been diagnosed with or treated for cancer, a chronic, or life threatening debilitating disease within the past five years.

Scholarship Amount and Distribution

Selected applicants will receive $3,000 annually up to four consecutive years, as long as they meet the guidelines of the program. The award is payable in equal amounts of $1,500 (per semester/trimester/quarter) directly to the college or university for the purpose of defraying tuition, books and other fee costs.

If selected as a recipient, below are the requirements to maintain the scholarship:

  • Complete Scholarship Acceptance Form;
  • Agree to media release terms and conditions.
  • Provide a personal bio (250 words or less) and self-portrait/headshots (at least 300 dpi) for publication.
  • Must maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Must be a full time student.
  • Must sign an agreement to complete 20 hours of community service for the year the scholarship will be dispensed and provide PAF with a confirmation when that service has been completed to include a signature of supervisor.

*Failure to meet any/all of these requirements is a violation of the award and the recipient will be responsible for repayment of the award monies.

Current Scholarship Awardees

Natalia Amaral

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Course: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

I am extremely grateful for the help I am receiving from Patient Advocate Foundation! This support motivates me to be a better role model for people with chronic illness! I’m pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in hopes to one day bring specialized veterinary care to Puerto Rico. Studying to become a veterinarian incurs significant debt on top of medical treatment expenses so this scholarship is very meaningful to me.

Joshua Parker

University of Wisconsin-Madison Course: Biology-Doctor of Pharmacy

This scholarship will help immensely in reducing the debt that I will incur throughout my six-year academic journey in pursuit of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I plan to gain admission into the School of Pharmacy at Madison after completing two years of prerequisite work.

Connor Newsome

Harding University, Course: Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Presented in Memory of
Laura James

It is an honor to be a recipient of this scholarship. Because of this award, I can pursue a nursing degree at my school of choice. My goal is to use this degree to help other patients in the same manner for which my nurses helped me when I was in the hospital. I’m so thankful to the Patient Advocate Foundation for helping me along my journey.

Briana Gansert

Saint Joseph's University, Course: English Literature and Education

The benefits of achieving this scholarship from PAF allows me to achieve the higher education I desire at a prestigious institution that will help me achieve my career goals. My goals are to continue my academic education through graduate school. I want to obtain a PhD in English literature, so I can be a college professor. I also plan on being an author of several books.

Alejandro Claure De La Zerda

University of Notre Dame, Course: Chemistry & Biochemistry

This PAF scholarship will help pay for the incredibly high costs to attend college due to the financial burden with my own cancer battle. First, I plan to obtain a Biochemistry degree and conduct research for better chemotherapy treatment options. I then plan to continue on to medical school and become a pediatric oncologist, so I can pay forward the selfless professional care I received from my doctors during my battle with cancer.

Shelby Wade

Wheeling Jesuit University, Course: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Due to my diagnosis and course of treatment, I fell behind a semester in just one course of study making me ineligible for all my institutional and federal aid this semester. The PAF scholarship will help offset this loss of aid so I can finish my degree. Serving as the President of the Student Nurses Association Club for the 2017-2018 academic years, I will complete my Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a goal of becoming a nurse practitioner specializing in the women’s health fields. My family and I are so grateful!

Jam Ransom-Marks

Northwestern University, Course: Biological Sciences

Being a three-time cancer survivor, my family and I have spent a considerable amount of time and money the last decade due to my healthcare needs. After years of finally clearing these hurdles, the PAF Scholarship has assisted me to pursue my educational dreams. I will major in Biological Sciences then continue on to medical school to become a pediatric Oncologist/Hematologist.

Kevin Moran

George Mason University, Course: Applied Computer Science

The PAF scholarship helps allow me to attend my choice college and study computer science. Through this education, I also hope to learn about software engineering and programming so one day I can create a game that might help kids feel not so isolated while going through cancer treatment. Thank you Patient Advocate Foundation for this generous award!

Sarah Hoang

Samuel Merritt University, Course: Nursing

I am beyond grateful to have been selected as one of the receipts of the PAF scholarship. I am currently attending a private nursing school, and this comes with a big financial burden. My dream is to help others afflicted with the hardship of cancer. This scholarship will help me lessen my student loans and allow me to be one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. I am so honored and so appreciative of this generous gift.

Scholarship Alumni

It was during Benton Brown’s freshman year of college he discovered the lump in his neck. A month passed before he received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He recalls this time in his life as the first instance he was ever truly challenged. Those around him, doctors, nursing staff, family and friends advised him not to continue his education during treatment. He challenged their position and maintained they were looking at the circumstance all wrong. Instead of focusing on the challenges, he allowed himself to concentrate on life, all that it allowed and how his diagnosis might shape his future.…
Having been recruited to play baseball at Rowan University in 2010, Richie Suarez was looking forward to a new phase in his life and beginning his preparations to become a mathematics teacher. Those plans were put on hold two days before he was to begin his freshman year, as he was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of moving into to his freshman dorm, Richie moved into Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He then prepared for the battle of his life; ultimately resulting in three and a half years of treatment. In 2011, Richie began experiencing pain in his legs and was diagnosed…
Zazel-Chavah O'Garra, winner of the 2007-2008 Scholarship for Survivors, has gone on to perform at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. This article highlights a recent performance O'Garra particpated in wtih VSA Arts called "inside/Out . . . Voices from the Disability Community."
Not many are aware that chronic diseases can teach lessons. Sickle Cell has taught Kaela Johnson how to use what should have been a debilitating weakness and make it her greatest strength. She has learned how to turn a “no” into a “yes” and a “you can’t” into “I did”. Her diagnosis would mean many days in hospitals, and lots of doctors and nurses but she eventually gained a true passion for medicine. Her time spent in the hospitals also allowed her to see and learn how people could have faith in hopeless situations. Her fascination for medicine and compassion…