Sarah Baumgarten is taking a well-earned gap year to study in Israel, before returning to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2017. One of Sarah’s first acts as a teenager was to request (along with her twin sister) that family and friends donate to Making Headway in lieu of Bat Mitzvah gifts. She continued this spirit of generosity throughout high school, serving as a child life volunteer at both North Shore-LIJ Health System and Hassenfeld Children’s Center, and spending two summers working at Sunrise Day Camp, a camp for children with cancer.
A 2014 high school graduate, Lionel Chen is currently attending Bergen County Community College with the goal of becoming a teacher. Lionel served on his class student council for three years in high school and was also active in the Red Cross Club. As a volunteer with the Brain Tumor Foundation (BTF), he took the initiative to organize a school toy drive for BTF’s annual holiday party.
Logan Ippoliti graduated high school in 2016, winning both the Student of Distinction in Photography and the Overcoming the Odds awards. After attending a pre-college summer program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Logan—whose ultimate goal is to attend FIT and pursue a career in the fashion industry—is now enrolled at Westchester Community College.
During her senior year of high school Lauren Lam served as president of the Key Club and won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, which recognizes students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. After graduating last June, she’s attending Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Lauren hasn’t yet decided on a major, but one thing she knows for sure is that her career will involve helping others.
The second time’s the charm for Chantelle Lovett, who was first offered a Scott J. Reisser Memorial Scholarship when she graduated high school in 2012. Chantelle turned down the opportunity, feeling she was not ready for college, but this time she’s accepted and is delighted to be enrolled at Suffolk County Community College. Her goal is to become a teaching assistant.
Emily Ousouljoglou, who graduated high school in 2013, is currently majoring in social work at Misericordia University. Her goal is to work with children with special needs, ideally with organizations that focus specifically on brain tumors or cancer. Emily has mentored at Camp Mak-A Dream, played a leadership role in American Cancer Society Relay for Life events at Misericordia, and led a quilting project for survivors at the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.
As far back as middle school, Noelle Sollivan demonstrated her big heart by selling gray ribbons to benefit Making Headway during Brain Tumor Awareness Month. In high school, she served as President of the Make-A-Wish Club, organizing a volleyball marathon which raised $4,000 for that organization. She also served as Student Council Treasurer, and was honored with a Students in Action Jefferson Award for Service. The 2016 graduate and is now attending Kean University, with plans to become a physical therapist.
When Lucas Sundwall graduated high school this past June, he left a trail of honors including four years on the quarterly honor roll, membership in the National Honor Society, and Scholastic Achievement Awards in English, history, and Arabic. Lucas, who hopes to make a difference in how people with disabilities are treated in our society, is now attending Quinnipiac University as a legal studies major. His goal is to attend law school and focus on disability rights or advocacy.
A 2014 high school graduate, Joshua Watabe is now working his way through a sports management program at Bowling Green State University. In a note of thanks for his scholarship, Joshua wrote, “I’ve always wanted to represent and live for those who lost their fight, by honoring them with my pursuit of success.”