2012 Continuing Education Scholarship Recipients

Thank you to all those who applied for the 2012 Continuing Education Scholarship Program. The Family Support Committee is pleased to be able to offer twenty-five $1000 scholarships for individuals affected with MPS and related diseases, their parents, children, and siblings. The scholarship awards will help the following individuals as they continue their secondary education. Congratulations!!

Nicholas Boyce is a graduate of East Providence High School and is in his third year at College of Providence, where he is majoring in sociology with a minor in black studies. Nick’s goal is to work in law enforcement, specifically either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Drug Enforcement Administration. Nick does not allow the fact that he has MPS I slow him down, and is proud that he is able to live on his own. While at college Nick works as a park ranger and grounds keeper for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Kyle Brockman is attending Lebanon Valley Technical College where he is majoring in biology with plans to continue on to medical school and become a doctor. Kyle is able to balance his college life and his life with MPS II, making adjustments in his schedule to allow for doctor appointments and his weekly Elaprase infusions. Kyle refuses to allow MPS to put a limit on what he can do, but he does allow it to make him a better person.

Jenna Caswell is in her fourth year at Keene State College, where she is majoring in special education. Jenna plans to join the Special Education Masters Program upon receiving her undergraduate degree. Jenna’s brother, Sam, has been an inspiration as he faces the daily struggles with MPS I. Jenna hopes to be able to focus on the abilities of the children she will educate, not their disabilities.

Ryan Dant attends Brookhaven Community College with plans to graduate in 2014. He will continue on to a four-year university to complete his studies in sports administration and wants to work in sport administration/equipment management at a major university. Ryan currently is working as the equipment manager at Southern Methodist University for the football team. He is responsible for getting game-day uniforms ready and the helmets looking nice. Ryan has MPS I, and loves living like a normal young adult.

Nicholas DeVolder is a graduate of Olivet High School. Nicholas plans to major in economics or engineering, and hopes to make a positive impact in his community and world. Nicholas was able to donate his bone marrow to his brother, Luke, who has MPS I. He hopes to be able to continue to educate his peers about the importance of bone marrow donations and also encourage his college peers to be tested for the bone marrow registry.

Emily Durcholz is a second year student at Indiana University, where she is studying business administration and minoring in Spanish. Emily plans to work in the marketing or advertising fields. She is inspired by her brothers, Ben and Zach, who have MPS III. Zach passed away in 1998. Emily’s proudest accomplishment is having hosted “Beat it For Benny,” a 2010 walk fundraiser for the MPS Society. Emily finds tremendous joy in knowing that she helped put MPS families a little closer to a cure.

Mitchell Finzel is a graduate of Morris Area High School and is attending the University of Minnesota-Morris. He plans to study genetics and become a researcher or genetic counselor. Mitchell would like to one day cure diseases like MPS, and also spread awareness and understanding of rare diseases to the rest of society.

Taylor Harvey is a graduate of Sperry High School and is attending Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She plans to make a difference in the lives of children as she pursues a career in the pediatric medical field. Taylor is inspired by her little brother, Tad, who has MPS II and is her best friend.

Jennifer Klein is attending North Carolina State University majoring in biology and psychology. She plans to continue on to medical school and eventually work with children with rare diseases, either in a doctor’s office or a clinical lab. Jenny has ML III which has taught her to be strong and to not take people, things, days or even her life for granted. Each day Jenny finds a way to laugh and smile.

Chelsey Klenke is a second year student at Missouri Baptist University where she is majoring in psychology. Chelsey is looking forward to working with children and their families as they deal with rare genetic diseases and special needs. Her brother, Kraig, had MPS II and passed away in 2010. Kraig continues to show Chelsey how to appreciate and respect life and other people.

Kyle Lingo is in his second year at Baldwin Wallace College where he is studying sports management/ communications. Kyle hopes to coach and scout at the high school, college and professional levels, with a goal to coach in the NBA. Kyle has MPS IV, however he will not allow it to stand in his way. He credits MPS IV as making him a more mature, determined and positive individual.

Frances Madsen is attending Michigan Technological University majoring in electrical engineering and will graduate in 2013. Frances has MPS I and is proud of being able to find a balance between her health needs and academic needs, all while attending college six hours away from home. Living with MPS has given Fran the opportunity to become a stronger person. She has learned valuable lessons from every obstacle she has had to overcome due to MPS I.

Joscelyne Mason is in the nursing program at North Carolina Central University with plans to graduate in 2014 and to continue her education to become a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics. Joscelyne has passion to help others and will be able to help many in her career path. Her brother, Khye, has MPS II and is her inspiration to pursue medicine.

Charlena Melnyk is a graduate of The Woodlands High School and is attending Texas A&M University, where she is majoring in pre- medicine. Charlena hopes to work in genetic or cancer research. Her brother, Nick, has MPS II, and she hopes to be able to help others in her career path.

Nicholas Melnyk is in his third year at Texas A&M University where he is majoring in computer science. Nick has MPS II and wants to learn programming skills so he can touch people’s lives through the Internet developing applications or through video games. Nick is successfully able to balance college life with his infusions and appointments. He hopes to use his talents and potential to better society.

Haley Miller is a graduate of Avon Grove High School and is attending Millersville University majoring in early childhood/special education. After college, Haley hopes to be able to teach at The Child and Career and Development Center where her brother, Danny (MPS II), attends. She is proud to say Danny is different and special because if he wasn’t she would never have become the person she is today.

Heather Millington attends Huntington University, where she is majoring in psychology with plans to become a counselor after she completes graduate school. She hopes to open a ranch which will help serve children in need as well as abused or neglected horses. Heather is inspired by her sister, Hope, who had MPS VI and passed away in 2008.

Joseph Morris is a graduate of Chanute High School and will be attending Kansas State University majoring in pre-medicine. Joseph, who has MPS II, plans to attend medical school after obtaining his undergraduate degree and eventually become a radiologist. Living with MPS has inspired him to go above and beyond while continuing his education, and know he can do what other kids do.

Autumn Mortensen is a graduate of Sprague High School and is attending Chemeketa Community College where she is studying English with some business and computer studies. Autumn has MPS VI and plans to work in the publishing/editing field. Autumn strives to always look on the bright side and focuses on the power of her mind, creativity and her ability to absorb knowledge. People often tell her she is a strong person, but she thinks of herself as optimistic.

Edward Ruhnke is a graduate of Moorpark College and is attending Sacramento State University with plans to graduate in 2015. He is majoring in special education, and plans to continue his education to obtain his master’s degree. He hopes to eventually teach his own methods at the college level. He credits his sister, Carly (MPS IV), with altering his life for the better. She has taught him that nothing is impossible; you can find a way to make it work.

Megan Sheridan is a graduate of Vermilion Community College and is continuing her education at Augsburg College with plans to become a physician’s assistant, with the ultimate goal of working in a children’s hospital. Her brother, Michael, has MPS I and she is honored to be his sister. She admires his irrepressible and unwavering zest for life, and his ability to do absolutely anything he sets his mind to.

Katherine Slavik is in her second year at Cleveland State University in the College of Engineering, with a major in mechanical engineering. Kat plans to develop products to help people with illnesses and handicaps. Her brother, William, has MPS II and has given her the gift of caring and sharing.

Jacob Todd is a graduate of La Cueva High School and is attending the New Mexico Military Academy. He hopes to work for the CIA, FBI or another government agency. His little brother, Jack, has MPS II and has taught him to take advantage of life, appreciate your loved ones and to be the best you can be every day.

Becky Von Handorf is a graduate of Newport Central Catholic High School and is attending Northern Kentucky University where she is majoring in criminal justice with plans to continue on to law school and become an attorney. She hopes to make a difference by helping people receive their justice. Her sister, Aly, has MPS III and has taught her to not sweat the small things, and that life is not always what you wanted or expected, but you have to make the best of what you have been given.

Cameron Watkins is in his second year at Dalton State College, majoring in English, and hopes to pursue his dream of becoming an author. Cameron has MPS II and is proud that he has succeeded despite the obstacles he faces. He is happy with the person he has become and would not change anything.