Meet the Finalist: Allison Loo

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Despite being a victim of child abuse, California resident and Dublin High School senior Allison Loo displayed strength and determination as she found a way to share her story and help other children who have fallen victim to the same issue. As a high school junior, Allison founded Plushies Aimed To Comfort Hearts (PATCH Club) an organization that provides comfort items to child abuse victims and raises awareness about child abuse. Items are sent to CALICO, the same center that Allison visited after reporting her abuse.

Allison wrote, “Speaking about my past and having my family’s constant love and support helped me heal and realize my self-worth. I realized that I didn’t want to be a victim anymore. Instead, I became determined to find a way to turn an event that seemed to only have a bleak and grim outcome into something positive, uplifting, and helpful to those around me.”

As a club leader, honor roll student, and athlete, Allison finds joy in her passions. The future nurse is currently a member of the Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program, Nursing Careers program and visits Stanford Health Care ValleyCare Hospital. It is through these opportunities that Allison has continued to have a positive impact on the greater community.

Richie's Spirit Foundation congratulates Allison Loo on being selected a finalist. Please stay tuned for the announcement of scholarship winners coming soon.

Meet the Finalist: Silas Sonnenberg

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During his seventeen years on this planet, Silas Sonnenberg, a senior at Frenship High School in Texas, has faced numerous health issues. Slias was diagnosed with Rieger’s Syndrome/Anomaly, a syndrome that his mother and siblings also have. Complications have resulted in numerous surgeries and trips to the hospital as well as a life filled with many doctors’ appointments and daily prescriptions.

Through it all, Silas has remained an active member of his community and dedicated student. This honor roll student performs in the Frenship High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion, is an active member of the Springs Fellowship Church Youth Group and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Volunteer Spokesperson and volunteer and miracle kid for Children's Miracle Network at University Medical Center in Lubbock. As he shares his story with elementary school through college-age students, he inspires them to persist through hardships and serves as an advocate bringing awareness to his health challenges. He is a role model for his determination and might.

In his essay, Silas wrote “My journey dealing with medical issues has shaped me in appreciating every aspect of life. I’ve learned to persevere in hopeless situations. I‘ve learned to thrive in circumstances that are barely survivable. I’ve learned to be a victor rather than a victim. I don’t take seeing, walking, even living for granted because I’ve been unable to walk, in constant jeopardy of losing my sight and on the brink of death multiple times. I’ve learned to persevere, and I’ve chosen to make that a positive character trait.”

Richie's Spirit Foundation congratulates Silas Sonnenberg on being selected a finalist. Please stay tuned for the announcement of scholarship winners coming soon.

Meet the Finalist: Connor Flanagan

Meet the Finalist: Connor Flanagan

At six years of age, Connor Flanagan, of Tyngsboro High School in Tyngsboro, MA, was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia. As a last resort, he underwent a bone marrow transplant that ultimately saved his life.. While Connor continues to battle health issues and the long-term side effects of cancer treatment, he has learned to monitor his expectations and remains strong when faced with adversity.

The Final Round: Richie's Spirit Foundation Announces Scholarship Finalists

Richie's Spirit Foundation's volunteer Scholarship Review Committee has selected the top 10 finalists from a pool of more than 2,600 applicants for the 2017 Significant Challenge College Scholarship. Judges will review the final candidates to award $3,500 in scholarships to three recipients. An announcement of the winners is expected in May.

Over the next few weeks, the Foundation will feature student profiles of the final candidates giving donors, supporters and volunteers an in depth look at these worthy individuals.

The purpose of the Richie's Spirit Foundation Scholarship Program is to honor Richie's memory by supporting the pursuit of higher education by candidates with a similar zest for life. Each applicant is asked to share a significant life challenge and how they have been able to overcome the major obstacle. While each individual story is different, many of these students share similar qualities to Richie - to live life with a positive spirit regardless of the adversities life may bring.

The Richie's Spirit Foundation Board of Directors would like to congratulate the top 10 finalists for their accomplishments and would also like to acknowledge all applicants for sharing their stories. Stay tuned for our finalist profiles!

2017 Significant Challenge College Scholarship Application Now Open

Starting Tuesday, November 15, 2016, Richie's Spirit Foundation will begin to accept applications for its 2017 Significant Challenge College Scholarship Program.  The Foundation will award $3,500 to the top three applicants who demonstrate leadership, character, and initiative in school and community affairs and merits academic achievement.  Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2017.

The 2016 application cycle welcomed a record 2,500 applicants with winners receiving $3,500 in scholarships for their college education.  Please click here to learn more about our past recipients.  

The 2017 application is open to all graduating seniors who plan to attend vocational school, community college or a four-year university during the 2017-2018 school year.  For more information, please visit our College Scholarship Program page.