Four Promising Students are Supported by World’s Largest Breast Cancer Organization After Losing Their Mothers to the Disease
DALLAS – July 21, 2009 – After losing their mothers to breast cancer, Lin Ling, Samantha Muilenburg, Asimina Trigonis and Heather Zurek have been selected to receive college scholarships geared to the children of people who have died of breast cancer, from Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
The Susan G. Komen College Scholarship Award Program was established to help students who would otherwise find attending college to be a significant financial burden, due to the loss of a parent to breast cancer. It offers undergraduate college scholarships of $10,000 a year for up to four years. Recipients of the Komen College Scholarship Award are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service and participation, financial need and demonstrated leadership potential. Recipients are expected to be ambassadors for Komen for the Cure and the breast cancer movement within their social networks and on their collegiate campus.
A graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York City, Lin will begin her freshman year at New York University’s Stern School of Business in fall 2009 and plans to study finance.
Four years ago, Lin discovered that her biological mother had breast cancer. Living with her father and step-mother in America, she traveled back to Taiwan, Province of China to see her mother for the first time. Lin saw her mother’s strength and perseverance despite the pain she was suffering. She learned later that her mother had passed away, and she says the experience of seeing her mother in her last days inspired her life motto: “no regrets.”
After that day in Taiwan, Province of China, Lin has filled her life with enriching activities. Exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to service in her community, Lin is involved in organizations such as ARISTA, Building with Books, Red Cross, Lighthouse International and Roadrunners Club. Lin also volunteers with a Jewish organization that mentors and assists local holocaust survivors, and she is passionate about spreading breast cancer awareness wherever she can.
A graduate of Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Wash., Samantha will begin her freshman year at New York University in fall 2009 and will study film and television production.
Since her mother’s death eight years ago, Samantha has taken on many challenges in order to hold her family together. Acting as caregiver for her younger siblings, she also manages her schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Samantha says the strength displayed by her mother during her life keeps her motivated.
Discovering her passion for film in the ninth grade, Samantha has created multiple films for nonprofit organizations and has won awards for her innovation and creativity. She hopes that her heartfelt movies will encourage other individuals who have experienced hard times as well.
A graduate of Grimsley High School in Greensboro, N.C., Asimina (“Mina”) will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a freshman in fall 2009 and plans to study education.
Mina’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2001 when Mina was nine years old. After receiving numerous treatments, the cancer appeared to be gone. Two years later, aggressive cancer was rediscovered in a routine check-up, and Mina’s mother passed away after a three-year struggle with the disease.
Mina says the incredible courage and determination displayed by her mother serves as motivation to encourage others and make a positive impact on the world around her. With a steadfast work ethic, she is an accomplished soccer player, active Girl Scout and avid volunteer with her church youth group.
Heather’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in the eighth grade, and two years ago during Heather’s freshman year in college, she passed away. Claiming her mother’s resilience and optimism as a continuous source of inspiration, Heather pushes forward to complete her college education. A continuing student at Indiana University, Bloomington, she plans to double major in international relations and French.
Since her mother’s death, Heather has devoted her life to helping others. She is involved with community organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels and the American Cancer Society. She also volunteers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where her mother’s breast cancer was discovered. Heather’s “never give up” attitude makes her a natural leader and powerful advocate for breast cancer awareness. Passionate about curing cancer and helping people, she uses her story to encourage others in difficult situations.
Applications will open for the 2010-2011 Komen College Scholarship Awards on Jan. 1, 2010. Students may apply online at http://ww5.komen.org/researchgrants/awardsampscholarships.html.