WRTC was able to educate thousands of people about organ, eye and tissue donation thanks to 10 local high school seniors who participated in the 2020 Leslie A. Ebert Legacy of Life Scholarship Program. The students submitted creative and persuasive video and essay submissions explaining why there is a critical need for people to register to be donors.
This year, several of the essay submissions included personal stories about how donation has directly impacted students and their families. Gracelyn Mauro of Aldie, VA wrote about her father receiving a liver transplant on the seventh call and how nerve-wracking it was watching her sick father wait for the official call. Another student, Miyah Hayes of Gaithersburg, VA shared the story of her mother’s remarkable strength as she has been waiting 10 years for a kidney transplant.
There was an essay a student wrote about his brother giving the gift of a cornea transplant upon his death, which restored sight to two people. Another wrote about his younger brother receiving a heart valve, which allowed him to live a healthy life. A student of Vietnamese heritage explained why she supports donation despite his parents having a different belief. Another student debunked the myth that claims gay men cannot be donors and explained how the HOPE Act has made transplanting organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive candidates possible.
WRTC awarded a total of $22,000 to the following 10 students:
- Kendal Williams of Haymarket, VA (Battlefield High School)
- Gracelyn Mauro of Aldie, VA (John Champe High School)
- Miyah Hayes of Gaithersburg, VA (Watkins Mill High School)
- Michael Sams of Purcellville, VA (Loudoun Valley High School)
- Elizabeth Kim of Manassas, VA (Osbourn Park High School)
- Manu Onteeru of Sterling, VA (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology)
- Lamara Allen of Arlington, VA (Washington-Liberty High School)
- Candace House of Washington, DC (St. John’s College High School)
- Aravind Sreeram of Chantilly, VA (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology)
- Esme Hansing of Reston, VA (South Lakes High School)
In addition to the Legacy of Life scholarship awards, WRTC also awarded Hannah Waller of South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, with the Timothy P. Susco Donate Life Award. Hannah was chosen by the South Lakes High School track coach as a student who embodies characteristics of Tim Susco. Susco, a South Lakes High School graduate, saved five lives as an organ donor upon his untimely death.
Congrats to all 11 scholarship winners. We wish them the best as they head to college in the Fall!