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2019 Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship Winners
Ricky Stafford and Shelbi Muñoz are the winners of the Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship. Each winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship paid directly to the financial aid accounts at their universities.
Applicants were asked to submit a written or video essay about how cancer has impacted their lives. Stafford’s winning written essay was selected after a competitive review by the Baron & Budd Scholarship committee. The essay detailed how he and his family were impacted when he received a diagnosis of leukemia his freshman year of high school. Stafford’s emotional account of his journey with cancer turned from one of sadness to positivity. Stafford found a way to focus on joy and helping others instead of choosing to focus on the negativity of his circumstances.
Stafford will be attending Southern Virginia University where he will be majoring in education. He hopes to one day create an educational program for students who are unable to attend school by conventional means due to illness. He wants to make sure they have the opportunity to live their lives and stay on track with school while dealing with an illness or injury.
“Cancer brought a deeper form of gratitude into my life. I learned to be more grateful for the things that I’d been given. I’m grateful to be alive and have the opportunity to serve and give back to my community,” Stafford wrote in his winning essay.
Additionally, Shelbi Muñoz was selected by the Baron & Budd Scholarship committee as the video essay winner. Her touching video displayed family photos and home videos as she explained how she lost five loved ones to cancer within a three year time period. Muñoz describes the devastation she felt because of her loss, however, she goes on to explain how she decided to honor her loved ones by living life and facing new challenges instead of letting tragedy keep her down.
“I realized that I’m still here and I must continue to live my life to its fullest in honor of those I love who can’t. I can’t be afraid to go out and take risks. I’ve been given the gift of time. Time I can use to make something of myself,” Muñoz said in her winning essay video.
Muñoz will be attending Florida State University where she will be majoring in theater and she hopes to pursue a career in theater after she finishes college.
The Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of the thousands of Americans who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer every year. Baron & Budd’s scholarship program is open to incoming freshmen who will attend a US-based four-year university, college, or two-year college. For more information about the Baron & Budd Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship, please visit https://baronandbudd.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/scholarships/.