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2020 Spring Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship Winners
Christopher Givens and Claire Houghton 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. Givens’ winning written essay was selected after a competitive review by the Baron & Budd Scholarship committee. His essay detailed how his family has battled a genetic form of cancer called Retinoblastoma. Givens explains that retinoblastoma is a pediatric cancer of the eye that has affected his grandfather, mother, and two younger brothers. He describes what it is like to be one of the only members of his family who does not physically suffer from cancer, but tells how he is still impacted by its effects.
“I am inspired by my mom’s success despite her cancer, and by witnessing my brothers’ strength during all the trials they have faced. I have learned that when adversity arises, our family comes together in strength, and that we can face anything head on. My mom does not allow for excuses. We do not take good health for granted but realize that it is a gift. I am protective and more empathetic of those who have differences and may need extra assistance. We choose to focus on the positive in our family,” Givens wrote in his winning essay.
Givens has a positive attitude aimed toward problem solving and would like to make a difference in finding new cancer treatment solutions. He will be attending the Missouri University of Science and Technology where he will be majoring in chemical engineering.
Additionally, Claire Houghton was selected by the Baron & Budd Scholarship committee as the video essay winner. Her video focused on her father’s Leukemia diagnosis and how it affected her family. Houghton explains how her father battled leukemia from the time she was three years old and how he recently passed away from the illness. The loss of her father was devastating for her and her family, but she was inspired by her father to always keep a smile on her face and have a positive attitude.
In a letter of recommendation, Houghton’s school counselor said, “Claire is an amazing person and student, in my eyes, she stands above the rest. Claire’s father endured a horrific, long battle with cancer. Sadly, Mr. Houghton succumbed to his illness last fall. Throughout Mr. Houghton’s affliction, Claire was a pillar of strength.”
Houghton volunteers at a children’s hospital and likes to cheer people up with her certified therapy dog. Houghton is attending the University of Delaware where she is majoring in nursing. She hopes to become a nurse practitioner once she finishes college and would like to work at a children’s hospital so she can continue to help people and make her father proud.
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 baronandbudd.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/scholarships/.