Candlelighters Continuing Education Scholarship Program.

In 1996, Candlelighters For Children With Cancer established the Candlelighters Continuing Education Scholarship Program. We recognize that families can amass overwhelming debt in medical bills after years of treatment, follow up appointments, and on-going medical issues caused by treatment. The journey doesn’t stop for families, and Candlelighters support doesn’t stop either. Financial assistance is awarded to high school seniors or current college students to support their pursuit of a higher education who have previously been or are currently diagnosed with cancer.

Congratulations to our 2018 Scholarship Award Winners!

Emily Burgess

Elizabeth Lofurno

Jaylynn Melby-Tercero

2018-2019 Candlelighters Continuing Education Scholarship

Candlelighters awarded 3 scholarships worth $2,500 each to Candlelighters teens: Emily Burgess, Elizabeth Lofurno and Jaylynn Melby-Tercero. This year’s scholarship selection process included a volunteer committee panel who reviewed and selected the 3 recipients. Those volunteer committee members were Kayla Bowker, Sue Sumptner, Dallen Ellestrom, Ruth Zuniga and Andy Soria. These volunteers have a diversity of backgrounds, including being parents of a child diagnosed with cancer, longtime volunteer with Candlelighters, a former nurse, a former principal, a teacher, and 2 professors. 

Emily Burgess is a 19 year old college student at Portland State University where she is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Emily was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001, and describes her cancer experience as having “taught me many lessons I don’t think I could have learned otherwise, or at least not in such a meaningful way…I strive to be more empathetic to the situations of others”. Emily was recently accepted into Build Exito, a research program at PSU, where she will be mentored by people in the field of neuropsychology, and she volunteers with cancer organizations in her free time. 

Elizabeth Lofurno is a graduating senior at West Linn High School who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma her sophomore year.  Not to be deterred by her cancer diagnosis, Elizabeth says she approached her treatment like she would her classes at school: “every chemotherapy transfusion was like a lecture….lingering side effects equivalent to homework…blood work appointments were like weekly quizzes… big unit exams: PET and CT scans”. She became so interested in the hospital procedures and various occupations of the people there, that she learned the protocol of chemo, how to read scans and blood work, and even how to draw her own blood. Elizabeth plans to go into the healthcare field and is an avid lacrosse player. 

Jaylynn Melby-Tercero attends Lane Community College where she is studying Communications. In 2016, while Jaylynn was away at college, she was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. She underwent a nine hour brain surgery to remove the tumor four days after diagnosis, resulting in her having to withdrawal from school and move back in with her mother. Jaylynn describes her cancer journey as showing her “how to appreciate life, every person around me, and every day I am given”. Jaylynn finished treatment in December 2017, has organized a fundraiser for the Glenn Garcelon Foundation to raise funds for patients with brain tumors and their families and volunteers to help others who are experiencing cancer.