May 06, 2013
Contact: Liz Samurovich
The New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society has announced this year’s recipients of its annual Scholarship Program: Flavia Tomori of Ridgewood, Sarah Paschkas of Pound Ridge and twin sisters Marissa and Danielle Raskin of Brooklyn.
The program helps students affected by multiple sclerosis pursue a college or technical school education. It is open to high school seniors who live with MS or have a parent who does; or anybody living with MS who has not yet been to a post-secondary school.
In addition to the emotional toll, MS can have a substantial financial impact on a family. The direct and indirect costs of MS, including lost wages — even for those with health insurance — are estimated at more than $70,000 annually per household. This makes funding a college education that much harder.
Danielle and Marissa have watched MS take away their father’s ability to walk and in recent years work.
“Due to his dwindling independence, my mother’s full time job is taking care of him,” said Danielle, a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. “This not only puts a financial strain on the family, but an emotional one as well.”
Danielle, who plans to study Social Sciences at Pomona College in the fall, says, “The value of this scholarship is invaluable to the opportunities it creates for both me and my family.”
Marissa plans to study Neuroscience in the fall at Tulane University. She says the scholarship, “…brings me one step closer towards entering the field of neuroscience and truly helping to create a world free of MS.”
Program Continues To Grow Across the Country
The Society established its scholarship program 10 years ago, and it immediately became a source of great encouragement for families concerned that MS might put college out of reach. This year, 423 new awards and 257 renewals totaling $1,156,225 were presented nationwide. Applications are evaluated on financial need, academic record, leadership and volunteer activities, a statement of educational and career goals, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are also asked to provide a personal statement describing the impact MS has had on their life. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000 and typically cover one year, although a limited number of awards may exceed this amount.
Information about scholarships for 2014-15 will be available on the National MS Society Web site on October 1st. For more information, call 1-800-344-4867 or visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/scholarship.