By the numbers
$103,000 Total Awarded to Scholarship Recipients
13 Total Recipients To Date
4 Total Recipients for 2017-2018 academic year
Past scholarship recipients
Riley and Gia Poppel, 2012
In 2012, as the board was deciding in which pancreatic cancer charity to donate the money raised in our inaugural year, we discovered more devastating news. A family friend, Peggy Marino Poppel, was diagnosed and died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 49, all within a matter of weeks. Peggy left behind a loving husband, Charlie and two young children, Riley and Gia. Losing their wife and mother not only left the family heartbroken, but also with high medical bills and the lost income of a parent to support the family. In lieu of flowers, the family had asked loved ones to donate to the children’s college funds. JEH donated $4,500 to the college scholarship funds for each child. Riley graduated from high school in May of 2015 and will attend Illinois State University to pursue a career in business.
After hearing more stories like the Poppel’s, the mission of the JEH Foundation changed to not only raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and to donate money to research but also to support scholarships for students who have lost a primary caregiver to this horrible disease.
Leighane Hall, 2014
Leighane’s mother died after battling pancreatic cancer. Despite this tragedy, Leighane never gave up on her dreams of becoming a pilot at Emory-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. With the help of JEH, Leighane was able to complete her commercial pilot training and is pursuing a career with a private jet company as she completes her aviation degree.
Natalie Sheppard, 2014
Natalie is a gifted performer and singer. Her dream was to attend a liberal arts college where she could train to become an opera singer. JEH provided her with a scholarship so that she could attend the Cleveland Institute of Music for her first semester freshman year. Because of this experience, she will tour Europe in the upcoming months and plans to return to Palm Beach Atlantic University after the tour to continue her education and training.
Moyosore Akintunde, 2015
Moyo blew us away with her academic achievements and active involvement in extracurricular activities. Losing her father to pancreatic cancer has made her work even harder to accomplish her goals. She will complete her Biomedical Sciences major from the University of Georgia in May of 2016. JEH was able to help pay for her last year of undergraduate school so she can focus on studying for the MCAT and medical school applications. She plans on becoming a pediatrician.
Hannah Weinman, 2015
Hannah’s mother was an assistant principal at the elementary and high school Hannah attended. The importance of education was something Hannah’s mother emphasized. During Hannah’s first year at the University of Florida, her mother was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and passed away one month later. Knowing how important education was to her mother, Hannah maintained a strong GPA in her hopes of being accepted to graduate school to study pediatric audiology.
Jessica Akintunde, 2016
Jessica received $9,000 to attend University of Georgia in Athens, GA. This money rounded out Jessica’s other scholarships and she is attending UGA this year for free. We are so happy to contribute towards Jessica’s tuition. She was a successful high school student academically and athletically. In track, she placed 7th in Georgia’s state competition in the 400m and she ranked 8th in her graduating class. Jessica plans to major in Political Science with a minor in African-American studies, an homage to her father who loved history and emphasized the importance of education. Jessica and, past scholarship recipient, Moyosore’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer when the sisters were in elementary school.
Steven Burdge, 2016
Steven received $5,000 to attend Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO. As a middle schooler, Steven was a part of the National Junior Honor Society and Scholastic Bowl. He was also on the football, wrestling and baseball teams. Even with all of those activities, he spends his spare time volunteering at the local animal shelter and the food pantry. Steven hopes to play Division I football or baseball and we hope attending Rockhurst will help him do so. More importantly, he is interested in the rigorous academic curriculum at Rockhurst and hopes to be an orthopedic surgeon one day. Steven’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 at age 30. He had the whipple surgery but doctors found cancer again in his spine in 2014. Steven’s dad wants him to attend Rockhurst because “if something happens to him he knows Rockhurst will continue to teach [him] how to be a man. Their motto is ‘men for others’.”
Hayden Ferencz, 2016
Hayden received $10,000 to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Hayden is a standout both academically and in his extra-curricular activities as part of the Buckeye Pop A Capella, Harmonics, and Upbeat musical groups. He also participated in musicals while attending high school and was cast as the male lead for two separate years. Hayden lost his dad last year during the spring of his junior year to pancreatic cancer. During Hayden’s senior year, he took college courses at Akron University to be closer to his mother, making a potentially dire final high school year into a productive one. Hayden plans to put as much work ethic into college as he did in high school. We are happy to able to help him.
Lauren Roe, 2017
Lauren was living in Texas when her beloved dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her life changed overnight. During his battle, her father was away for most of the time receiving treatment. Lauren had to mature quickly with additional responsibilities to help care for her siblings. Her father died of pancreatic cancer not long after diagnosis. Lauren will be pursuing her passion for the arts at Baylor. She feels most connected to her father when she is acting on the stage. Film and music were how they connected. Lauren maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and we are convinced that she will meet all of her goals.
Skyler Hudson, 2017
Skyler‘s father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at thirty-eight and then again at forty-four. He had a clean bill of health in May 2014 but by September that year he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After 19 months, his father lost his battle. He calls his dad, “a warrior”, who instilled in him strength, perseverance, dedication, and tenacity. Education was extremely important to Skyler’s father. He wanted Skyler and his siblings to excel in all aspects of life. During the summer of 2016, Skyler worked as an intern in the molecular bio-genetic lab at Delaware State. During that time, he decided to become a chemical engineer. Through this field, he will be focused on achieving his goal of a world without cancer. A true renaissance man - a 4.0+GPA, plays three instruments, an athlete, and involved within his community.
Allison Pope, 2017
Allison’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011. Growing up, she watched her dad tear down walls while she picked up the debris and brought him tools. Their fixer-upper home became a functional masterpiece to him as they remodeled it from the ground up. Her parents always encouraged her passions, especially for arts and creation. During her father’s treatments, saving for college education was stopped in order for her father to receive treatment. Despite his passing her father continues to motivate her everyday. At Oregon, she is studying architecture, a passion born out of helping her dad. Allison is maintaining a 3.5 GPA so far at Oregon.
Olodade Akintude, 2017
When Olodade was young her family emigrated from Nigeria. She was constantly reminded of the importance of education and how fortunate she was that she would be able to get a higher education and have more opportunity in the United States. She watched as her parents assimilated into American life and watched them strive to make it in this country by building their lives from the ground up. Unfortunately, in 2005, her father died of pancreatic cancer. Her passion for helping people, coupled with her love for the arts and social studies, made her career decision an easy choice. She aspires to be a civil rights attorney fighting for justice in the courtroom. Olodade is our first repeat recipient of the JEH scholarship. “For [my father] him, I completed my first semester of college with all A’s and A-’s, maintaining a 3.91 GPA. For him, I went out for the top organizations in school, such as Student Government and Student Alumni Council, to make a mark in his memory. Every morning, I am reminded that my father was watching me. This motivated me to be immaculate in everything I involved myself in.”